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Is Dairy the Devil?

I often hear my patients and others profess with pride that they have given up dairy. The way one might beam over giving up oreos or spicy cheetos. And while there may be reasons to limit certain food types for certain people, I have to scratch my head and wonder.  When did dairy become the devil?

To be fair, dairy does include some yummy but not so good for you foods like ice cream.  As well as cheese which is very calorically dense (meaning you rack up the calories quickly even with small amounts). Not to mention that cheese is usually coupled with crackers- equally addictive- resulting in a bombshell of calories.

But as always, we can’t generalize and not all dairy is bad! Highly publicized studies that linked dairy to weight gain were poorly conducted and contradictory. Dairy can actually be a healthy addition to a balanced diet. In fact, a study that was released last week showed that incorporating full fat dairy into your diet can result in LOWER cardiovascular mortality.  With the caveat that maintaining a healthy weights is a must.

Yogurt is actually one of the few breakfast items that are high in protein. In fact, certain yogurts can have up to 3 times the protein as an egg. Chose Greek or Icelandic yogurt as the highest protein options followed by sheeps milk or goats milk yogurt. Add a cup of fruit and a handful of oats and you have a complete meal.

Eggs have also gotten a bad rap but in fact eggs are the most complete protein. They are also a good source of minerals including choline- which is essential for neurological development- meaning healthy brains. And again studies show that the addition of up to 10 eggs yolks per week does not negatively affect cholesterol and can be a healthy option for at risk folks. Take home? There is no health reason to stay away from eggs!

Whey which is derived from milk is my favorite dairy. It has the best protein for calorie ratio and is best studied for weight loss and muscle building. Using whey protein as part of your breakfast smoothie is an excellent and low calorie way to get your protein in and help suppress and curb your hunger hormones all day!

So next time you boast about kicking dairy consider starting with the oreos first!

In Good Health,

Dr. A

Dr. Adrienne Youdim

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