Ask the Nutritionist: dairy edition
Feelgood food is proudly 100% dairy-free (and gluten-free, nutritionally-dense, totally delicious... The list is endless.) This week our in-house nutritionist Liana Bonadio delves into the world of dairy and reveals some astounding facts.
Why is Feelgood food dairy-free? What are the benefits of a low/no dairy diet - is this just for people with an intolerance?
As we discussed last week with regards to gluten, dairy is also a very common allergen. You can be allergic to dairy, or intolerant to lactose which is the sugar found in dairy products.
The symptoms of lactose intolerance can be pretty unpleasant - bloating, gas and diarrhea - and there are studies that show up to 70% of the world’s population are lactose intolerant after childhood. As infants we produce the enzyme lactase, but our ability to make this enzyme often decreases with age.
We want everyone to enjoy Feelgood, not just the roughly 30% of people who don’t have an issue with dairy.
Isn’t dairy the best source of calcium? How do you get calcium if you don’t eat dairy?
It’s definitely well known that dairy contains calcium, but it is not the only source, nor is it necessarily the best one.
The protein in dairy products produce a lot of acid in the body. As our body’s acidity is tightly regulated, when there is too much acid, calcium is released from the bones to neutralise it. So while dairy contains calcium, too much can cause the stored calcium in our bones to become depleted.
There are many plant sources of calcium that do not cause this issue, such as almonds, broccoli and other green leafy vegetables, molasses, sesame seeds, soybeans, pulses such as lentils and chickpeas and turnips.
Does cheese count as dairy? (Can I still eat cheese please?)
Cheese does fall into the dairy category I'm afraid, but by all means, if you aren’t allergic or intolerant, feel free to include dairy as part of a balanced diet. Just don’t rely on it as your main/only source of calcium!