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Do You Know if Dairy is Good For You?

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Healthy Eating related image Photo: Getty Images

Dairy is one of the most confusing topics in the nutrition world today. We all know the slogan, “Milk does a body good.” The National Dairy Council and probably your mother have told you for years to drink milk; it’s good for your bones and keeps you strong.

Some people say it helps you lose weight, while others say drink dairy if you want to become big like a cow. Some people are allergic to dairy or see dramatic results like less issues with asthma, acne or congestion when they reduce or eliminate dairy. Dairy makes some people constipated and makes other people go.

So what’s the right answer? Should you eat dairy or not?

The truth is every body is different, so each person has to decide what works for them.

Some people choose to eat it freely. Some people can tolerate small amounts of yogurt or kefir, fermented dairy products which include bacterial cultures making them easier to digest. And others choose to skip it all together.

A new documentary film called, “Forks Over Knives,” features two major experts in the field: Cornell University nutritional scientist T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., head of the Breast Cancer Task Force at the Cleveland Clinic. Both men advocate for a plant-based, vegan diet with no dairy products.

Campbell is known worldwide for his best-selling book “The China Study,” which detailed his research looking at diet, lifestyle and disease in 65 mostly rural counties throughout China.

“I was raised on a dairy farm milking cows,” Campbell said recently at a lecture to doctors in Portland, Maine. “This became a little bit more personal than just professional.”

Campbell said that population studies consistently show that people who eat the most animal foods (including dairy) have the highest cancer rates, including breast, uterine and endometrial cancers. And it’s not about the fat. Some of his recent research showed that men who consumed the most skim milk had the highest rates of prostate cancer, according to an article in the Portland Press Herald.

Is there a difference between whole, half and skim milk?

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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