From lattes and ice cream to pizza and cheeseburgers, dairy is pervasive in the Standard American Diet, considered both a staple and a necessary food ingredient. In the United States, the Federal nutrition policy developed by the USDA and the Department for Health and Human Services recommends Americans consume two to three servings of dairy daily as part of a healthy, well-balanced diet.
However, exposure of mass agricultural practices suggest that not all dairy products are created equally and the quality of dairy products may differ drastically based on the presence of growth hormones and antibiotics administered to the livestock. These hormones and antibiotics then travel through the food chain causing adverse health effects for dairy consumers. Some people are also intolerant of dairy even when it’s the best quality.
Complications with skin and digestive health among dairy consumers has risen, disproving the notion that dairy is a mandatory component of a healthy diet.
Consuming Dairy Can Exacerbate Certain Skin Conditions
Despite its widespread consumption, scientific and anecdotal evidence suggests that dairy products in the diet can have adverse effects on skin health and can exacerbate certain conditions. Understanding the ways dairy relates to the complexion and using or avoiding it accordingly can be a powerful tool for achieving healthy skin.
Dairy is a highly inflammatory food and can particularly irritate skin that is already prone to breakouts. When the body stays in a constant state of inflammation, its’ ability to naturally heal itself is compromised. Because dairy comes from pregnant cows and naturally contains a host of hormones, it can cause hormone imbalance in humans, leading to oily skin and breakouts.
Casein, a protein found in cow’s milk, can be a trigger for eczema. Switching to goat and sheep’s milk products which do not contain casein may be a good alternative for those with eczema who do not want to cut out dairy completely, although the inflammation caused by dairy products of any kind can still contribute to flare ups.
Consumption of pasteurized dairy has been linked to premature aging of the skin due to the oxidization of proteins that occurs during the process. Digestive enzymes found in dairy are also destroyed during the pasteurization process which decreases the body’s ability to absorb all of the nutrients properly. This can lead to digestive trouble and can contribute to skin breakdown. Switching to raw, unpasteurized dairy products can lessen digestive problems for those with lactose sensitivity and allows for greater absorption of the vitamins and minerals found in milk.
When working with clients we’ve found the Vibrant Wellness Zoomer tests can be very helpful to determine whether or not Diary is contributing to skin problems and other inflammatory conditions. If you’d like to learn more about how dairy and other foods may be affecting your health, book a free discovery session here.
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