Is Milk Bad for You? How to Manage Lactose Intolerance

Managing Lactose intolerance

Is milk bad for you? That’s a question many people have been asking in recent times. Clearly, if you have a lactose intolerance, it is not a good idea to consume milk. Consuming milk won’t have quite the intense or severe effect on you as someone with dairy allergies will experience, but it certainly will impact your body with a negative consequence.

In the content of this article, we address this question of is milk bad for you, head on. We dive into the science, we dive into the realities of lactose intolerance, and how to manage your diet efficiently when affected by lactose intolerance.

Nutrition Facts

Nutritional Stats of Milk

It’s hard to answer “is milk bad for you” because there is certainly a nutritious profile to the product.

An 8-ounce glass of milk portions; 8 grams of protein, 30% the daily intake of calcium, Vitamin-D, Vitamin B-12, 10% the daily intake of Vitamin-A, and good Phosphorus servings; which works with calcium and vitamin-D for bone health.

Types and Causes

dairy products

If you are experiencing bloating, gas, stomach pains, diarrhea or serious indigestion after eating a meal infused with some form of dairy product (milk, cream, cheese, or yogurt) there is a good chance that you are lactose intolerant. Is milk bad for you? It depends on how your body really reacts to it. Experiencing these symptoms likely means lactose intolerance, which translates into a yes, milk is bad for you.

The cause of lactose intolerance stems from the bodies inability to produce enough “lactase”.

There are 4 different Lactose Intolerances.

  • Primary Lactose intolerance- The most common form of lactose intolerance. It is caused by genetics, primarily those who are African, Asian, Hispanic, Mediterranean, and or of a southern European background. Basically, there is a compound called lactase, which our bodies produce until the age of five, and in some of us, the production stops as early as the age of two. Lactase enables our bodies to break down the sugars of dairy. Lactose is the main sugar in dairy, and lactase (what our bodies naturally produce) splits it into two easier to assimilate sugar molecules; glucose and galactose. When our bodies stop producing Lactase it becomes increasingly difficult to break down or split, these dairy lactose sugars, resulting in a more difficult digestion, leading to pains, aches, gas, and diarrhea.
  • Secondary Lactose Intolerance- A form of intolerance that usually stems from issues from injuries, illnesses or surgeries involving the small intestines. Through the effects of the illnesses or injuries, and surgeries are small intestines slow down the production of lactase; the internal compound which splits the lactose sugars within the dairy product. The deficiency leads to difficulty digesting dairy products and produces pains, aches, gas, and diarrhea. Celiac and Crohn’s disease are the two leading illnesses that link to low lactase production levels, and lactose intolerance.
  • Developmental Lactose Intolerance- This is a form of intolerance that stems from a baby being born prematurely. It usually will only last a short time after the child is born, and will actually dissipate in time.
  • Congenital Lactose Intolerance- This form of intolerance is a genetic trait. Both parents have to have to possess and pass down the genes in order for a baby to experience this. It is a very rare experience, and it is essentially when the small intestines produce virtually no lactase at all from birth. This form of intolerance is an experience of intolerance that lasts a lifetime.

It’s important to know of the difference between lactose intolerance and dairy allergy. Lactose intolerance is not producing or possessing enough of the compound lactase within the body, from the small intestines. That makes foods which consist of dairy much harder to break down. This is because lactose is broken down by the compound lactase within the body. Meanwhile, a dairy allergy is a reaction within the body to certain proteins that exist within milk, yogurts, cheeses, and other dairy products. They are not the same thing. Dairy allergies are severe. Someone with a lactose intolerance can eat the dairy product, in tiny amounts, while someone with allergies should stay away and be leery.

Eating And Diet

So is milk bad for you?

If you have lactose intolerance, you should be cautious with anything you eat, and the simple answer is yes.

Prepare your own breakfast, lunch or dinners, because you will have an overwhelming uncertainty entering the market of foods. There is sometimes no telling if a food will have some form or trace of dairy within it when you order out. People working at restaurants might tell you that there is no dairy in a dish, but then you get it, and it turns out there was actually some cheese or milk snuck into a sauce that the server didn’t know was the secret ingredient. The meals might not be smothered in dairy products, but that doesn’t always mean they are not tucked away tightly into the recipes. Butter is the hardest element to get around when eating out in public places. Butter goes in many dishes across the market.

Asking “is milk bad for you” and finding out it is if you have lactose intolerance makes it overwhelming to shop for food products. Milk and dairy products are into all different canned, boxed, frozen, and prepared foods. The bread, pancakes, biscuits, cookies, or cakes you may have once loved are likely to have some form of dairy within them. This is usually eggs, milk, and butter. Some cereals, soups, salad dressings, instant potatoes, and flavored chips will probably have some form of milk or eggs. Processed meats are likely to contain some dairy product within them. A lot of smoothies might end up containing milk, luckily there are many places that offer a dairy alternative like almond milk, or coconut milk, or even oat milk nowadays. They fortify most protein bars and protein powders with milk proteins or some form of dairy product.

consumer reading nutritional stats

You can check most packaging and get a good sense of whether it has lactose within it. Some example labels that mean there is a presence of lactase are:

  • Milk (might answer “is milk bad for you?”)
  • Whey
  • Milk-By-Products
  • Non-Fat Milk Products
  • Dry Milk Solids
  • Curds
  • Lactose

A good idea for your well being is to stay away from any products listed and labeled with these markings.

Be advised when buying over-the-counter medications too. They make some pills with a lactose component laced in. talk to your doctor about your situation and make sure you will not do yourself harm.

You were just wondering “is milk bad for you”. Now you’re hit with all this. Don’t be too pessimistic and in the worry about your lactose intolerance. A lot of recent science, study, and diet has explored new ways of nourishing our bodies that include all the benefits milk or dairy products once brought, except with no dairy involved.

The highlighted constituents to dairy products are proteins, calcium, vitamin B-12 and other trace nutrients/ minerals. Removing those from your body means you will begin to intake less, and so in turn need to take them in from other sources.

Let’s start with protein. You can up your intake of beans, rice, and legumes. All of these have great levels of protein, and when paired with an oil like avocado oil, is then equipped with all the essential amino acids that help break down and use those proteins consumed in the most efficient way. Plus beans and legumes are a source for another dairy component- Vitamin B-12.


The next concern with dropping our intake of dairy revolves around calcium. Almond milk, coconut milk, and alternative milk are fortified. This means they could consist of similar if not higher levels of calcium and other minerals/ vitamins. Aside from fortified foods, again, beans and legumes pack a punch of great minerals and vitamins. Seeds like chia seed, poppy, or sesame are also naturally packed with high percentages of calcium. Almonds are packed with high natural levels of calcium. Finally, eating greens like spinach or kale can really introduce a lot of vitamins and minerals into your body, including great levels of calcium.

Sounds like a nice daily greens salad mixed with beans or legumes, some seeds, and healthy oils can have a tremendous impact on your body’s protein, calcium, and mineral profile.

Is Milk Bad for You – Conclusion

Having a lactose intolerance can be very daunting. We asked “is milk bad for you?” and the answer is yes. A lifestyle of dairy products has got to be let go of for the greater good. Your body is signaling that it is having a hard time breaking down those sugars involved in milk. Good health is one of the greatest treasures. To honor that will bring you and your body a lot more harmony. To add healthy alternatives that can pack the same nutritious impact will take you and your body even further. If you love it, you don’t have to entirely give it up. Make sure you have a conscious approach to your relationship with it though. Don’t indulge in it every day, rather have it occasionally. Break up your consumption.

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