Healthy Hollywood: Ask Keri Glassman - Is Dairy The Diet Devil?

Keri Glassman Keri Glassman

Nutritionist Keri Glassman, who regularly shares her expertise on Access Hollywood and Access Hollywood Live, is answering your nutrition, diet, and health questions.

Want to know which foods to curb sugar cravings? Or, what should you eat before a workout? Ask Keri anything!

Keri will choose one great question a week to be answered Thursday in our Healthy Hollywood column.

To submit questions for Keri, click HERE!

This week’s question…

“I heard Julianne Moore cut out all dairy products before the Emmys, but I thought dairy was healthy! What’s your take?” – Robin J.

Keri says…

Milk, along with other dairy products, is a great source of calcium, vitamin D, and potassium, all of which are vital components of bone health.

You already know how important calcium is, but potassium is also vital because a potassium deficiency puts you at risk of developing high blood pressure.

Also, the probiotics, or live microorganisms, found in some yogurt are crucial for digestive health, and while you may not want to think about bacteria traveling through your intestinal tract, we promise: these guys are your friends! Be careful though, not all yogurts that boast the benefits of “live and active cultures” contain probiotics, so be sure to read your labels! Also, yogurt has been touted as a beauty-booster, as it leaves you with a healthy glow and luscious locks to match.

The calcium found in yogurt nourishes hair, while the lactic acid acts as a natural alph-hydroxy, soothing rough skin, and may even help eliminate blemishes. The essential fatty acids, B and C Vitamins, and iron in yogurt help keep skin hydrated and maintain collagen, giving you glowing, smooth skin.

While dairy products provide impressive health benefits, some find that eating dairy causes gas, nausea, and abdominal bloating and cramps. These may be signs of lactose intolerance, or an inability to digest lactose, a type of sugar found in dairy products. Obviously, for anyone who experiences these symptoms, it is probably best to pass on most dairy products, though there are many non-dairy options that still provide the beneficial components of milk and yogurt.

Plus, bonus: thanks to our probiotic pals, many lactose intolerant individuals find that they can eat yogurt without an upset stomach! And for those who claim that eating dairy causes breakouts, there is no science to back this!

Bottom Line? While I wouldn’t suggest slugging back a carton of Ben and Jerry’s, dairy products provide essential nutrients that can lead to better digestive functions and bone health.

A healthy portion of cheese, yogurt, and milk, to name a few, provide a great punch of protein and can be a fundamental part of a healthy diet. For you lactose intolerants, there are many non-dairy products that provide the same benefits of their dairy counterparts. For example, almond milk, hemp milk, and flax milk are all great non-dairy options for anyone who is lactose intolerant, vegan, or just doesn’t like the taste of dairy milk. I keep both almond milk and cow’s milk in my fridge at all times!

So, while Julianne Moore may swear by ditching dairy, we say scoop, sip, and slice away!

-- Terri MacLeod & Keri Glassman

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