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Food produced from or containing the milk of mammals
Dairy products or milk products are a type of food produced from or containing the milk of mammals. They are primarily produced from mammals such as cattle, water buffaloes, goats, sheep, camels and humans. Dairy products include food items such as yogurt, cheese and butter. A facility that produces dairy products is known as a dairy, or dairy factory. Dairy products are consumed worldwide, with the exception of most of East and Southeast Asia and parts of central Africa.
Dairy products can cause problems for individuals who have lactose intolerance or a milk allergy. People who experience lactose intolerance usually prefer to avoid milk and other lactose-containing dairy products, as they may cause symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, gas, and nausea. Milk treated to be lactose free offers an alternative.
Excessive consumption of dairy products can contribute significant amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat to the diet, which can increase the risk of heart disease, and cause other serious health problems.
There is no excess cardiovascular risk with dietary calcium intake, but calcium supplements are associated with a higher risk of coronary artery calcification.
Consumption of dairy products does not cause mucus production, and will not make cold or asthma symptoms worse. This widely held belief stems from some people mistaking the thin coat of residue left behind after consuming milk or ice cream for mucus.
Consumption patterns worldwide
Rates of dairy consumption vary widely worldwide. High-consumption countries consume more than 150 kg per capita per year. These countries are: Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Costa Rica, most European countries, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, North America and Pakistan. Medium-consumption countries consume 30 to 150 kg per capita per year. These countries are: India, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Mongolia, New Zealand, North and Southern Africa, most of the Middle East, and most of Latin America and the Caribbean. Low-consumption countries consume under 30 kg per capita per year. These countries are: Senegal, most of Central Africa, and most of East and Southeast Asia.
Some groups avoid dairy products for non-health-related reasons:
Religious - Some religions restrict or do not allow for the consumption of dairy products. For example, some scholars of Jainism advocate not consuming any dairy products because dairy is perceived to involve violence against cows. Orthodox Judaism requires that meat and dairy products not be served at the same meal, served or cooked in the same utensils, or stored together, as prescribed in Deuteronomy 14:21.
Vegans - Veganism is the avoidance of all animal products, including dairy products, most often due to the ethics regarding how dairy products are produced. The ethical reasons for avoiding meat and dairy products include how dairy is produced, how the animals are handled, and the environmental effect of dairy production. According to a report of the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization in 2010 the dairy sector accounted for 4 percent of global man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
^Pinnock, CB; Graham, NM; Mylvaganam, A; Douglas, RM (1990). "Relationship between milk intake and mucus production in adult volunteers challenged with rhinovirus-2". The American Review of Respiratory Disease. 141 (2): 352-56. doi:10.1164/ajrccm/141.2.352. PMID2154152.
^Wiley, K.L. (2004). Historical Dictionary of Jainism. Historical Dictionaries of Religions, Philosophies, and Movements Series. Scarecrow Press. p. 78. ISBN978-0-8108-6558-7. Retrieved 2019. In recent times, out of concern for the treatment of cows in commercial dairy farming, some Jains in the diaspora and in India now observe a vegan diet and discourage the use of dairy products in temple rituals.