Benefits of keeping dairy in your diet

Ditching dairy may not be a good idea if you're lactose intolerant.

Health experts say people who cut dairy out all together may be missing out on vital nutrients.

When she's in the mood for a snack, Celine Sanguinetti has to be careful. She's lactose intolerant. "When I drink milk it makes me feel sick a couple hours after I drink it. It's not, like instant."

Like many Americans who are lactose intolerant, Celine was self-diagnosed. Unlike many, she and her family are committed to keeping at least some dairy in her diet, a commitment health experts say is crucial.

Cecilia Pozo Fileti, a registered dietitian says, "Even if you are diagnosed with lactose intolerance, the answer is not the avoidance of dairy but the inclusion of dairy in a managed way."

She says doing without dairy, especially in teens, can mean trouble for years to come.

She says, "It can lead to bone health problems, weight management problems, and potentially cardiovascular disease problems as well."

To avoid that, experts say you shouldn't just self diagnose lactose intolerance, but talk to your doctor about it, as well.

There is a simple breath test that can determine the severity of your condition.

Even with symptoms, most patients can tolerate things like hard cheeses and yogurts with live, active cultures.

There is also a growing market of lactose free foods, but doing without dairy isn't doing your body any favors.

Cecilia says, "Dairy is a powerhouse of nutrients. We know that. Nine essential nutrients that you can't find any other place especially at those kinds of costs that we find in dairy."

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