Experts warn that cutting out dairy is particularly dangerous for those under 25
You might want to rethink grabbing your coffee with almond milk the next time you head to Starbucks. Experts have recently warned against adopting a dairy-free diet, explaining that it is a “ticking time bomb” for adults under 25, the BBC reports. A survey by the National Osteoporosis Society reported it was concerned by the number of young adults following these fad diets and not replacing the missed nutrients.
The charity surveyed 2,000 adults of all ages, including 239 under the age of 25 and found a worrying number of young people cutting out dairy, but replacing it with nothing.
“Diet in early adulthood is so important because by the time we get into our late 20s, it is too late to reverse the damage caused by poor diet and nutrient deficiencies and the opportunity to build strong bones has passed,” Professor Susan Lanham-New, clinical advisor to the National Osteoporosis Society said.
At the moment, half of all women over the age of 50 and one in five men develop osteoporosis, a fragile bone condition that causes painful fractures of the hip, wrist and spine.
This new research suggests that young adults are seeking dietary advice from bloggers and vloggers on the internet, which can result in overly-restrictive diets. A recent Food Standards Agency survey appears to confirm this, concluding that nearly half of people ages 16-24 said they have an intolerance to dairy, but only 24 percent actually had the condition diagnosed by a doctor.
Granted, many people are cutting out dairy and meat in an attempt to reduce their carbon footprint – and doctors have explained that it is possible to cut the food group out, you just need to replace the nutrients you are missing.
“While it’s not necessarily dangerous to cut dairy from your diet it’s important to ensure you get enough calcium from other sources,” a spokesperson for the British Nutrition Foundation said. “Dairy tends to be the biggest contribution to our calcium intakes and so this needs to be replaced by other sources such as bread, cereal, canned fish, nuts, seeds and leafy green vegetables, as well as dairy alternatives that are fortified with calcium.”
The takeaway? By all means cut dairy out of your diet if that’s your preference, but make sure you are getting your calcium from somewhere else, especially if you are in your 20s.