If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “Self, I know I should give up dairy because [insert health guru here] swears it’s a game changer — but… pizza / grilled cheese / charcuterie platters are so freaking delicious,” we get it. And we’re not here to twist your arm or shove any dairy-free cashew cheese down your throat.
We will, however, share these five (welcome) things that happen when you stop eating dairy. (And leave the dairy-free decision making up to you.)
You’ll reduce your risk of cancer.
We couldn’t bury this lede because if there’s a number one reason to give up dairy, cancer prevention is probably it. Research suggests that drinking more than one cup of milk per day may double your risk of ovarian cancer. Dairy products may also contain carcinogenic contaminants, which have been linked to the growth of breast cancer cells. So, if you find it incredibly empowering that your food choices can reduce your risk of cancer, we’ll consider this a major win for that dairy-free life.
People will ask you what highlighter you’re wearing.
Because your skin just may glow. One of the most touted physical benefits of cutting out dairy is an improvement in skin texture and overall appearance. Research found that milk contains testosterone-like hormones that stimulate oil glands and acne, so decreasing or eliminating dairy intake may naturally reduce acne.
You may lose weight.
Despite rampant ‘milk makes you healthy’ campaigning (ahem, Got Milk?), there’s no science behind the suggestion that eating dairy will help you maintain or lose weight. In fact, research suggests the opposite: A 2005 study found that the more milk children drank, the more weight they gained.
You’ll decrease bloating and improve your digestion.
If you — like 60 percent of the adult population — don’t properly digest lactose, chances are high that consuming dairy products makes you feel a bit bloated. The culprit behind bloat is often improper digestion — which can cause excessive gas in the intestines. The good news? If you’re lactose intolerant, when you ditch dairy, you’ll ditch the bloat and improve your digestion (by bidding adieu to cramps, gas, diarrhea and the like).
You’ll be drinking from the (dairy-free) fountain of youth.
For every daily glass of milk you drink, your risk of death increases by 15 percent. Research suggests that the cause is galactose — a simple sugar in milk — which can breed inflammation and set the stage for many diseases. If you’re trying to reign supreme forever, don’t overlook the life-elongating superpowers of going dairy-free.
The bad news (if you love you some cheese)? Dairy probably isn’t doing your body good. The upside (if you choose to come to dark [dairy-free] side)? These five bossy health benefits.