With the proliferation of plant-based milks, ice cream, yogurts, and more, you might assume that dairy should be off the table for everyone. Not quite, says chief wellness officer of Cleveland Clinic Michael Roizen, M.D.
“So many diets tell people the secret to good health is to get rid of it completely, but dairy can serve an important role for our bodies,” Roizen says. “Dairy contains calcium, vitamin A, protein, potassium, and other nutrients that we need to maintain strong health.”
Of course, “for ethical reasons, many people who don’t eat meat are also uncomfortable with dairy farming,” says dietitian Kelly Jones, M.S., R.D., CSSD, LDN. “But when it comes to claims about lower nutritional quality and potential inflammation, there just isn’t [much] research to back up those statements.”
In some cases, people may notice better breathing or skin health after eliminating dairy, in which case they may have a mild allergy, she says. “While those anecdotes are valid, it doesn’t mean those reactions would occur in everyone consuming dairy.”