People have a lot of emotions invested in this question. So for this article I am just going to focus on this question:
Is dairy useful?
Yesterday in response to a comment someone asked if it was OK to use protein drinks (whey in this instance) to meet their protein requirements. My answer was an emphatic YES!
The reason is simple: anything that you drink is more bioavailable than something you have to chew. So whey protein as an example has that as an advantage but is also a COMPLETE protein. What this means is that you don’t need to combine it with other proteins so that the body can use it.
That’s a big advantage. (also FYI that watery film on the top of your yogurt is whey protein so mix that in)
Another advantage is that if you are lactose intolerant you can use whey isolate and typically will not have issues.
“But protein drinks make my stomach upset”
9 times out 10 it’s not the protein that is the issue, it’s the fillers, so cheaper proteins as an example often can lead to your stomach being upset. Additionally whenever you start taking supplements of any kind you should really dose small. Possible even smaller than the recommended serving size.
Also before we move on collagen and BCAA’s are not complete proteins so if you are using them to fill your protein macros you aren’t meeting your protein requirements (assuming that is important to you and it should be if the goal is to keep the good tissue and lose unwanted tissue).
“Ok wait, then why do a lot of diets suggest you eliminate dairy”
Because dairy has calories. It’s that simple.
Dairy with lactose included has sugar (that's because lactose is a sugar) and in case you haven’t heard sugar has been cancelled. For the same reason really.
Sugar has calories and typically, those calories aren’t all that useful as long as you don’t mind eating tasteless food. (PS, I am not pro sugar and I wouldn’t encourage anyone to over consume it but the sugar is the cause of everything problematic narrative isn’t correct)
What I find is that if I over consume dairy my skin acts up a bit, so I typically eat dairy in doses. Also for some reason I can’t drink milk without my stomach getting upset but I can consume products like yogurt or kefir with no issues.
But I also find that this happens when I over consume sugar in general.
Does that mean that would happen if you over consumed dairy or sugar? The internet might suggest yes and while I think I might agree I think it’s highly individual.
In addition to being a phenomenal source of macronutrients dairy is a great source of micronutrients (vitamins) also. For active people that combo of macros and micros can be very useful for keeping muscles and tendons healthy.
Is there a case for reducing dairy when you are in a diet cycle?
I do but if you have followed this page at all you know that all diet cycles need an end point and food needs to normalize for people once that is done.
Which is a perfect time for dairy to come back (when calories come back). I don’t tend to eliminate dairy completely, even in a diet cycle because I use dairy products for probiotics (seriously, is there nothing dairy doesn’t do).
Ok, let’s summarize:
Is dairy a good source of protein? That answer is yes.
Should you drink milk if it upsets your stomach? That answer is no.
Should you consume dairy if you are lactose intolerant. Obviously no but there are great solutions that don’t have lactose.
You see my point. It’s the calories for almost everyone and if you can fit it into how you eat and manage your weight I think you are perfectly fine to do that.
Also let me add I don’t want to live in a world where cheese and ice cream don’t exist.
Even the programs that reverse don’t do a good job because they cave to the fear of their clients or they let AI (artificial intelligence) do the work.