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Is going dairy-free good for you? Why or Why not

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Siena chapter.
Yes! Let’s get your glow on

Going dairy-free can have a lot of benefits for our bodies! One of these benefits that I saw with my own body when I went dairy-free, was the way that my skin changed. Whey and casein are the two proteins that are found within dairy products. These are stimulants and growth hormones that are meant to help baby cows grow. However, when we consume these, they have a completely different effect on our bodies. When we digest them, a hormone is released in our body that is similar to insulin, and this hormone is known to trigger breakouts. Or sometimes this hormone can interact with different systems in our body, and confuse them, which can also trigger breakouts! Obviously, this does not have the same effect on everyone, so test it out and see how it could affect you. From my own experience, only certain dairy products affected my skin badly. 

Ice cream was a big trigger food and continues to be for my acne, so I try to avoid it as best I can. Another reason that giving up dairy is beneficial is because of the ways it can affect your digestion. So many people, myself included, struggle with tummy issues in some shape or form. It calls for a lot of trial and error to see what is causing those issues, maybe it’s dairy. Sometimes our bodies can’t seem to easily break down the lactose that is found in dairy products which can cause gas or bloating to occur. Which no one wants. This might not be the leading cause for everyone’s stomach issues, but it definitely played a big role in mine. Once I started to limit the dairy in my diet, I saw a huge change with the fact that I didn’t have to sit for an hour with my heating pad on my stomach after I ate! So, why not give it a shot. Try it out, and see if dairy could be the cause of breakouts and bloating!

No, dairy is good for our bodies!

The main reason that it’s not good for you to completely get rid of dairy from your diet is that it can have a lot of health benefits. It is rich in calcium, protein, and many other nutrients that our body needs. So, it can be very difficult to successfully get those nutrients on a dairy-free diet. Another reason that going dairy-free is not always the best option is because food alternatives for dairy-free can be very costly, and hard to find sometimes. Many of the foods that we eat all the time, unknowingly contain dairy. It can require a lot of  pre-planning and research to find good foods that contain a limited amount or no dairy. If you really want to go dairy-free just make sure you are ready to put in the effort.

correct serving size vs my serving size
Mia Knapp
My Own experience

I have tried out many different variations of a dairy-free lifestyle. What works best for me may not work best for everyone else. However, I can give a little insight into what has worked for me! Testing out this lifestyle definitely takes a lot of patience, and trial and error. I have found that it is extremely difficult to go completely dairy-free unless you only cook for yourself, and have full control over your groceries. But most of us don’t have that luxury just yet! What has worked best for me is to just simply limit my dairy intake. Avoid foods that are extremely high in them, or when I have the option of other things to choose those instead. Even just this little change with limiting dairy in my diet has had a very positive impact on both my skin and on my stomach issues. While going completely dairy-free might not be the best option, why not try to simply limit your intake and see how that may affect you!

Eden Nestler is a junior at Siena. Her major is Political Science, and she plans to double major in Communication Journalism in the future. Some of her interests include working out, fashion, being with friends, and reading. IG: eden_nestler