I partnered with Arla to write this post, but I’ve been eating and serving Arla products for literally years. Some of you might frown and say that I’m being paid to promote dairy, but the post below contains my true feelings about milk products, which I say not because I’m being paid, but because they’re what I believe. 

It’s my philosophy to provide my readers with accurate information and current evidence, to help them make the best decisions for themselves and their families. 

One of the latest trends seems to be people cutting dairy out of their diets. I see a lot of people doing it just because they’ve heard that dairy is unhealthy, and for no other reason.

Now, I’m the first person to say that you can have a healthy diet without any dairy at all, but if you tolerate it, there’s absolutely no reason to cut it out. I personally eat a ton of dairy – especially cheese and yogurt – and so does my entire family. I’m really not into cutting things out of my diet for no reason, especially foods I enjoy, and you shouldn’t be, either.

Let’s talk about what dairy has to offer:

One of the reasons why I buy so much dairy, besides the fact that I love the taste, is because it’s so convenient. If I need a snack or a quick meal, grabbing some yogurt or a piece of cheese is an easy way to add protein and calcium to whatever I’m eating. 

Arla’s new Gouda and Havarti Snack Cheese Bars are easy to throw into my kids’ lunches or to bring with me to the office when I’m in a rush. They contain really simple ingredients with no artificial flavours or preservatives. True story that I’m sure all parents of school-age children can understand: making lunches every day for my kids is pretty tough, because each of my girls likes different foods, and sometimes, I just run out of ideas. I actually have to put some serious thought into what I pack, because not only do I want it to be nourishing, it also has to be something that the girls actually want to eat. 

I know that if the rest of their lunches come back uneaten, the Arla Snack Cheese Bars will always be gone. I pack them so I know that at least the girls get something nutritious during the day!  Of course, one daughter likes the Gouda ones, the other prefers Havarti! How did these kids get to be so different?

Dairy nourishes. 

When I talk about food that nourishes, I not only mean that it’s good for us; I also mean that it nourishes us and makes us feel good. To me, cheese is a wholesome way to balance my diet overall, and I really enjoy eating it. You all know that I eat what makes me happy – I’m not a fan of deprivation – and knowing that my family and I can eat what nourishes us and feel good about that is important to me.

You know that dairy is a great source of easily absorbable calcium for our bodies, and you also probably know that it’s a source of protein, too. But dairy also contains vitamin D and magnesium, among other vitamins and minerals. Vitamin D helps keep our immune system healthy, as well as our teeth and bones. And next time you’re having trouble sleeping, grab a piece of cheese! Aside from it’s role in healthy bones and blood pressure regulation, magnesium may play a role in reducing anxiety and insomnia.

The health benefits of dairy fat.

For a long while, dietitians like me recommended skim milk cheeses and other dairy. Not anymore! We now believe that the source of saturated fats is relevant to the risk they have to our health. 

Recent research on dairy fat suggests that it does not increase cardiovascular risk and in fact, may have a protective effect for heart disease and diabetes (and here) . Full-fat dairy has also been associated with lower body weight. 

There are so many benefits to keeping dairy in your diet. Eat what you love, and enjoy!