The milk industry has been on an emotional and financial rollercoaster. Not so long ago, teenage bedroom walls were plastered with Got Milk ads featuring Hollywood heartthrobs posing with a milk mustache.
Dean’s – America’s largest milk producer – filed for bankruptcy thanks to the popularity of non-dairy options like almond and oat milks and the rise of private label milk companies.
Here’s where we stand. If you’re an avid reader of this blog then you know we discourage dairy (specifically yogurt). Part of that is my own journey of health, and part of that is science that has linked dairy to inflammation, and that is generally a bad thing.
But the truth is – telling you not to eat dairy goes against our brand mission of making health simple because simple also means realistic. The reality is, millions of people consume dairy products everyday. So instead of scolding you, we are going to share what we know so you can “dairy responsibly”.
To help us out, we’ve partnered with our friends at ICONIC Protein who create dairy-based protein drinks and powders created in a way that is better for you, the environment, and the animals producing the milk.
Let’s start with the lactose vs. dairy… what is the difference?
Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk products. The body produces an enzyme called lactase, which digests lactose (try saying that ten times). People who are lactose intolerant (30 million Americans to be exact) don’t have enough lactase, and therefore, can’t digest it. So it is possible that someone can consume dairy but not lactose, which is why they’d buy milk with the label “lactose free” on it.
Is whole milk better than low fat milk?
Not really. The things that cause dairy reactions are the proteins (whey and casein), not the fat.
Does it matter how the animals are treated?
Yes. How the animals are treated and what they are fed is the same as what we ultimately put into our body. In addition, grass-fed cows produce milk with more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which is a fatty acid found in dairy and beef. Emerging science supports that high levels of CLA is linked to protection from colorectal and breast cancers, diabetes and even heart disease.
What is ICONIC Protein?
ICONIC Protein offers lactose free, non-GMO, clean, high protein products. Their founder created the company after feeling unable to find protein drinks that weren’t packed with sugar.
Why is ICONIC Protein responsible dairy?
ICONIC drinks are truly Grass-Fed Verified, meaning their protein is sourced from cows that graze on pastures all day long in Ireland. This means that the way their products are made are better for the environment, better for the animals (Animal Welfare Approved) and healthier (they are lactose free, 20% whey, 80% casein).
So should I consume dairy?
Look, if it’s me, I don’t. Do I miss amazing cheese (triple creme brie, come back to me!), spectacular slices of Pizza from Pagliacci’s in Seattle, and having to watch labels to find the milk that sneaks into nearly everything? You’re damn right. But if you read many books on nutrition and brain health, or even read the latest studies, you will see very smart researchers pointing out that full-fat dairy (in things like no-sugar greek yogurt) are extremely beneficial in everything from weight loss to avoiding metabolic syndrome.
I’m so confused. Should I or shouldn’t I?
Our guidance is simple: if you’re going to eat dairy, eat quality dairy. Eat it from cows that roam around on Irish grassy plains their entire lives. Eat it from farmers who practice humane husbandry. Eat it from non-GMO sources. That is why we like ICONIC – they are the highest quality dairy protein you can get, with the least amount of sugar, and a massive boost of protein and beneficial amino acids.
Now if only they made triple creme brie…