— Food For Thought

7 totally normal things that could happen to your body when you stop eating dairy


Yogurt, cheese, milk, ice cream — let’s face it, dairy is delicious. But these days, there has been a lot of research showing that this food group isn’t exactly a great part of a healthy diet. Cue our sad face emoji. So we did a little digging to figure out what really happens when you stop eating dairy.

People stop eating dairy for a variety of reasons. Some choose to do so because they suffer from lactose intolerance. Others give it up in the hopes that they might have more energy and less bloating. And some others avoid it because they don’t want to ingest any animal products. No matter what your reasons are for going milk-free, you might notice some changes in your body when you take plunge and give up dairy. We’re here to walk you through what might happen.

Here are seven things that could happen to your body when you give up dairy.

1Your bones may get stronger.

To keep your bones strong, you need calcium. And even though you’ve learned your whole life that milk and dairy are essential to keeping your bones strong, that’s not necessarily the case. It may seem like foods such as milk and yogurt have high levels of calcium, but they really don’t have very much absorbable calcium, and that’s the stuff your body needs.

For example, only a third of lowfat cow milk, which has 125 mg of calcium, actually gets absorbed into your bones, while the calcium in kale (one serving has 150 mg) is 30 percent more absorbable than dairy. Your body gets way more calcium you’re getting if you go with the latter.

Furthermore, studies have shown that eating a lot of dairy can actually increase your risk of osteoporosis. So if you give up milk, don’t be surprised if your bones gradually become stronger and healthier. Of course, that will only happen if you’ve replaced the dairy with other plant-based foods that are rich in calcium, such as spinach, broccoli, kale, edamame, and tofu.

2Your skin might clear up.

If you’re struggling with acne, avoiding dairy might be a diet change worth trying. This Dartmouth study suggests that the hormones in milk can stimulate acne. So giving it up could mean clearer skin and less reliance on concealer. And we can all get behind that.

3Your stomach and digestive system might feel WAY better.

If you notice symptoms like bloating, gas, nausea, and cramps, then you might have undiagnosed lactose intolerance. After all, 75 percent of the human population lacks the enzyme to properly break down dairy, leaving most of us with all sorts of digestive issues from the dairy we consume.

Thus, cutting dairy out of your diet may make you feel much better. However, if you suspect lactose intolerance, experts suggest that you check with your doctor rather than self-diagnosing, because there could be other underlying causes. But if there’s any chance that going milk-free can improve your dining experience, then it might be worth it.

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