Milk and Milk Alternatives
The Food Guide suggests 2 servings of milk or milk alternatives daily, and no longer suggests that milk and milk alternatives should be an individual’s main source of calcium as it did in the past. This is likely due to the fact that a diet high is green vegetables is higher in calcium (and other essential minerals) than a diet high in dairy. The food guide now suggests that everyone consume lower fat milk or soy products fortified with vitamin D, in order to ensure adequate vitamin D intake.
My advice – Milk and Milk alternatives
Dairy is generally not required as part of a healthy diet. Our bodies produce some vitamin D on their own when exposed to sunlight, and vitamin D supplements are a cheap, easy, and an efficient way to improve Vitamin D intake. Foods such as salmon and pastured (grass-fed) meats are also much higher in vitamin D than dairy products, and will be discussed to a greater extent in the blog on meat and meat alternatives.
A Note on Probiotics
Many people equate yogurt with probiotics, and this is because yogurt indeed, does contain probiotics. In actuality, most if not all fermented foods contain probiotics, or bacteria that is generally considered beneficial when ingested. Organic, all natural yogurt, without additives, is a good option for individuals that can tolerate it, but unfortunately many people are sensitive to dairy, largely due to the fact that it contains lactose (a sugar that lactose-intolerant people are unable to digest) and casein, a milk protein that many people are sensitive too. Yogurt however, is usually quite low in lactose, and therefore much easier to digest for the average person who typically has a tough time with dairy.
For those with pronounced digestive disturbance, (bloating, cramping, IBS-like symptoms or inflammatory bowel disease) systemic inflammation, autoimmune disease, or a history of antibiotic use, professional probiotic supplements are often indicated. Since these products differ widely, it is important to receive professional advice in choosing the appropriate combination and strength of probiotic species.
Next in the series- Grain Products
Have a great day,
Dr. Kaleigh Anstett