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Good Question: What Does Dairy Do To Us?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Aaron Rodgers may be a Pro Bowl quarterback in Dairlyand, but his dietary decisions are not going over well with cheeseheads.

Rodgers announced Tuesday that he has cut dairy from his diet in order to lose weight and cut down on inflammation in his body.

Like our neighbors to the east, Minnesota becomes a dairlyland delight in the summer with plenty of milkshakes and ice cream -- which is why Wisconsinites are scratching their cheeseheads at Rodgers' revelation.

Natalie Ikeman is a physician assistant with HCMC's Golden Valley Clinic. She says it is no secret that milk, yogurt and hard cheese are great sources of calcium.

"And when you cut those out you are at risk for osteopenia and osteoporosis, which are weaker bones and more brittle bones," Ikeman said. "And you are more at risk for fractures."

But Ikeman says dairy is not for everyone.

"A lot of patients will find when they drink milk or eat cheese and yogurt, they will get really bloated and they just don't feel right," Ikeman said.

Rodgers said he cut out dairy to cut down on inflammation. The National Institutes for Health, however, said there is no proof dairy causes inflammation in muscles and joints.

But Ikeman says it can happen in your stomach -- a result of lactose intolerance.

"An intolerance means they may not digest it as well and it doesn't settle so swell with them," she said. "So when they do take it out they just feel better."

While small children should drink whole milk, Ikeman says adults should drink skim, and no more than 500 milligrams a serving.

She says milk and yogurt have sugars that translate into calories, and that can translate into weight.

Skin conditions are another thing that can be connected to dairy. There are no definite links between dairy and acne problems, but some dermatologists believe the hormones in milk can trigger acne in some people.

Ikeman says milk is also a great source of Vitamin D, but so is salmon and mushrooms if you are one of those people who have cut out dairy.

She says orange juice, tofu, beans, almonds and leafy greens are also good sources for calcium.

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