Wow, one Holford e-mail about allergies just keeps giving and giving. Patrick Holford advises that one “[a]void mucus-forming, pro-inflammatory foods such as dairy and meat.” Which would be fair enough – except, as a UK dietician commenting on the blog kindly pointed out, milk consumption doesn’t lead to mucus production.
To quote from the abstract of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition article, it was found that “[t]here is a belief among some members of the public that the consumption of milk and dairy products increases the production of mucus in the respiratory system. Therefore, some who believe in this effect renounce drinking milk. According to Australian studies, subjects perceived some parameters of mucus production to change after consumption of milk and soy-based beverages, but these effects were not specific to cows’ milk because the soy-based milk drink with similar sensory characteristics produced the same changes. In individuals inoculated with the common cold virus, milk intake was not associated with increased nasal secretions, symptoms of cough, nose symptoms or congestion.“
At the risk of being repetitive, I should say again that cutting out whole food groups (e.g. dairy) from your diet is not something to do lightly. It’s certainly not something to do based on a largely inaccurate belief that milk leads to increased mucus formation. If you think you’re lactose intolerance, or are struggling to deal with your allergies, get medical advise – don’t make big changes to your diet based on Holford’s claims about mucus.