Dairy is any form of food produced in the mammary gland or from the milk products of animals. The most common dairy product in the world is Cow’s milk. Other types of dairy products are; cream, yogurt and butter.
Types Of Dairy
MILK: This is the dairy product gotten from the mammary glands of animals. It is used by animals to feed their offsprings, but we humans also use it for nourishment. Milk is also the base form of other dairy products (i.e it is used to make other dairy products). Milk is a great source of calcium, protein, fat and sugar which are needed for development.
CREAM: This is produced by separating the fat content from milk. This separation is mostly done by centrifugation. Once the fat is removed, it leaves a cream with high levels of butterfat. This cream is then pasteurized to kill bacteria.
YOGURT: This is made with milk or cream. The milk is fermented into lactic bacteria. During fermentation, the milk compounds are broken down so the bacteria can convert milk sugar into lactic acid. The fermentation is done through incubation and this thickens the milk or cream. After fermentation, additives (sugar, flavors, preservatives and fruits) are added to provide different variety.
BUTTER: To make butter, fat is separated from butterfat (which is gotten during the production of cream). This is also done by centrifugation. Once the fat is removed additives (e.g salt) are added for longevity and variety.
When these dairy products are added to dishes, it adds flavor and taste. But like every food, it has its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages Of Dairy Products
SOURCE OF PROTEIN: Dairy products are a great source of protein. Protein is needed by the body for building our skin, bones, muscles, tissues, blood and other parts of our body.
HEALTHY BONES: Dairy products are rich in nutrients like calcium, Vitamin D, and potassium which ensures our bones grow healthy, increase bone density and development in children. They also maintain bone mass in adults.
HELPS DIABETES: Taking dairy products daily helps people with diabetes. It also prevents type 2 diabetes in people.
IMPROVES SLEEP: Milk and dairy products contain amino acid which induces sleep. Milk also contains a compound called Tryptophan which releases serotonin in the brain, thereby triggering sleep. So if you have trouble sleeping, a glass of milk might come in handy.
ENHANCES DIGESTION: Drinking dairy (especially yogurt) can help with digestion. Yogurt contains bacteria (called probiotics) which acts as a great laxative and stimulates bowel movement. People with constipation are advised to take a glass of milk or yogurt as this might help relieve them.
Disadvantages Of Dairy Products
Like all foods, dairy products has its disadvantages. They are;
OSTEOPOROSIS: This is a bone condition whereby the bones become weak and brittle. The bones are so brittle that when mild force is exerted on them, they break. This is caused by the overconsumption of milk.
LACTOSE INTOLERANCE: Some people are lactose intolerant, meaning their bodies find it difficult to digest the lactose in dairy products. This leads to diarrhea, nausea, bloating, cramps and gas.
MILK ALLERGIES: Some people are allergic to milk and when they come in contact or consume milk, they vomit, get rashes or hives.
So looking at the advantages and disadvantages, is dairy good for you? I’ll say yes, except you’re allergic, dairy taken moderately is very beneficial for your body.