The Bottom Line on Dairy

For those who are not lactose intolerant or allergic to milk, dairy products can be an important source of protein, vitamins, minerals essential fats and beneficial probiotics. Dairy products have been consumed by about 450 generations, which in the span of human history is not that long, but it is sufficient for large numbers of humans – those with a genetic history of dairy farming – to develop the ability to digest and use the cornucopia of nutrients provided by dairy foods. Once again, it comes down to a metabolic issue. If you consume dairy products and have no symptoms, it is likely due to your body’s production of lactase, and/or your selection of low-lactose products like yogurt and aged cheese. I rarely consume cow’s milk, but enjoy whey, cheese and unsweetened yogurt. Natalie (though also descended from traditionally dairy-herding ancestors) has a more sensitive GI tract. She limits her dairy to goat’s milk yogurt (easier to digest, available from grass-fed, organic sources) and cheese made from the milk of goats or sheep.

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