You Should Definitely Cut Back on Dairy Products — Here’s Why

Diet trends have gained popularity for reported health benefits, and going dairy-free is one many think can help you feel your best. If ditching the food group entirely isn’t something you can bear, you might at least consider cutting back when you can. For those struggling with digestive issues or acne, this food group may be the reason why. Here are five reasons why you should consider eating fewer dairy products

1. Dairy products contain hormones

glass of milk next to a glass jug

This glass of milk has a lot of hormones. | iStock.com

Growth hormones are one of the most controversial substances found in milk — more specifically, what’s known as recombinant bovine growth hormone, or rGBH. According to the American Cancer Society, this hormone helps cells replicate and it’s used by farmers to increase the amount of milk their cows produce. Sustainable Table mentions when cows are injected with rGBH, milk production increases by about 10 to 15%. The main issue with this substance is the correlation with the presence of insulin-like hormone growth factor-1 (IGF-1). The story went on to say studies suggest that high amounts of IGF-1 may be related to certain tumors. Since IGF-1 concentration appears to be higher in milk from cows that are injected with rGBH, many think consuming dairy products from these cows can cause some serious health issues. If you’re not keen about eliminating dairy, just make sure you choose hormone-free products.

2. It could cause acne

woman squeezing pimple in front of mirror

Dairy is really bad for your skin. | iStock.com

Breakouts are the worst, and so is not being able to find an acne treatment that seems to work. If you’re prone to blemishes, you’ve probably already done plenty of research on ointments and remedies to eliminate them. But if all those tricks don’t work, it’s time to look at your diet. Although the link between dairy and acne has not been confirmed, there are plenty of personal stories to back up the idea. According to WebMD, research suggests there are components in milk that can activate oil glands, which may lead to acne. Try eating fewer dairy products if your skin is susceptible to those unwanted spots to see what happens. There’s nothing to lose, except hopefully a few zits.

3. It can increase risk for heart disease

Chocolate Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Saturated fat is the last thing your heart needs. | iStock.com

Many dairy products, including cheese, butter, and ice cream, are known to have large amounts of saturated fat. According to the American Heart Association, consuming foods high in this type of fat can raise LDL cholesterol levels. When the amount of this bad cholesterol rises in your blood, you’re at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease. It may be smart to limit your dairy intake if you’re concerned about your ticker.

4. It may be the reason why you feel bloated

close-up on a man's stomach as he rubs it

Cut back on dairy to feel relief from bloating. | iStock.com

There are many foods that cause belly bloat, but dairy can be particularly bad. According to Men’s Fitness, the 10% of Americans who are lactose intolerant lack the enzyme necessary to break down the sugars found in dairy products. As a result, the bacteria now in your gut causes bloating. If the body is able to break down these sugars, then this won’t typically happen. But for those who often find themselves bloated after consuming dairy, even if you’ve never been diagnosed as lactose intolerant, it’s worth it to put a halt on the food group for a while.

5. It may be the cause of major health issues

Man lying on the couch

Milk may be the source of a lot of your issues. | iStock.com

According to Dairy Nutrition, there are two types of proteins in milk products. Whey makes up 20% and the other 80% is made up of casein. According to the University of Michigan Health System, the casein content in milk products can be problematic. The article mentions there has been research done that indicates there may be a relationship between dairy and illnesses such as type-1 diabetes and cancer. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine also mentions research has shown a relationship between dairy intake and increased chances of prostate cancer and ovarian cancer. Although more research needs to be done on the relationship between dairy and all of these ailments, it’s something to keep in mind.