I used to eat dairy at almost every meal - here's what happened when I gave it up for 6 weeks
- Dairy is a staple in many people's lives, and it contains nutrients like vitamin D and calcium that are good for our health.
- However, for some people, a dairy-heavy diet may contribute to bloating, migraines, and fatigue.
- I decided to give up dairy for six weeks, and found that my rosacea improved and I had more energy.
Earlier this year, I was eating dairy for every meal, as well as in between meals.
Since I'm living abroad, it's an affordable and filling food group, no matter where I am in the world. For example, I'd drink yogurt for breakfast, have fresh bread with butter and cheese for lunch, eat some version of homemade macaroni and cheese or pizza for dinner, and end with ice cream or gelato for dessert. Oh, and let's not forget about the mug of warm milk to help me sleep at night.
Though this dairy-rich diet was delicious, I started to feel sluggish. Plus, my rosacea - a skin condition that causes facial pinkness or redness and visible blood vessels - seemed to be getting worse. According to The National Rosacea Society, some dairy products may trigger flare-ups of the condition, so I decided to give it up for at least six weeks.
"Giving up dairy is OK and can be a healthy choice," Maya Feller, registered dietitian nutritionist, told me via email. "Dairy is a good source of vitamin D (when fortified), protein, and nutrients, including calcium and potassium. However, all of these macro and micro nutrients can be obtained from a well-planned, healthy, and balanced dairy-free diet."
Giving up dairy was not easy. Aside from eliminating my favorite go-to foods, I discovered that traces of dairy can be found in many food products, from cookies to soup.
I definitely noticed changes after eliminating dairy from my diet. Of course, there may have been a placebo effect at play, but after being off dairy for six weeks, I saw differences in my complexion, my energy levels, and the way I felt.
Here are five things that happened when I gave up dairy.