In the current day and age there is always a new food attracting unwanted attention and criticism, and dairy is one such food group.
Dairy is a food group that is essential and one of the 5 food groups. So it really is, like everything else, all about moderation. Removing dairy from your diet will increase the risk of missing out on the recommended daily intake of calcium and many other vitamins and minerals essential for good health.
Three serves of dairy foods a day will provide the recommended daily intake of calcium for most people and that’s not difficult. One serve is equal to a 250ml glass of milk, a 200g tub of yogurt or two slices (40g) of cheese.
Dairy Australia have released a fact sheet chock full of information that outlines the truth behind many of the myths associated with dairy foods.
MYTH: Milk causes mucus
TRUTH: There have been numerous studies undertaken that show milk DOES NOT cause mucus production. Some of the reasons for too much mucus include infection, dry air, dehydration and a variety of medical conditions. Another aspect of this is that some people will experience a coating of the mouth and throat after drinking milk that is milk’s natural creamy texture but can be mistaken for mucus.
MYTH: Milk causes asthma
TRUTH: There are many common trigger for asthma including dust mites, pollens, exercise and viral infections – milk is rarely one of them; less than 2.5% of people with asthma are affected by food or drink. The National Asthma Council recommends that people with asthma eat a nutritious diet from a wide variety of foods – which includes milk and dairy. It has been suggested in research centering on preschool children that dairy foods may even reduce the risk of becoming asthmatic.
MYTH: I have to stop eating dairy foods if I want to lose weight
TRUTH: Nutrient needs are an important factor of a weight loss diet so dairy products should still be included; try switching to reduced fat varieties. The exclusion of dairy from any diet makes getting enough calcium and other essential nutrients more difficult. It has even been suggested by research that 3 serves of dairy in a calorie controlled eating plan may help achieve greater weight loss if you normally have a low dairy intake.
MYTH: If you take calcium tablets you don’t need milk
TRUTH: Milk brings a lot more to the diet than just calcium and a calcium tablet won’t provide all the other essential nutrients that dairy bring to to the diet.
MYTH: Toddlers should drink low fat milk
TRUTH: Milk fat offers benefits to toddlers and young children that become less important as children grow and eat a varied diet. The Australian Dietary Guidelines expand on this and how it changes for each age range.
MYTH: Those who have difficulty digesting lactose (lactose intolerance) should avoid milk and other dairy products
TRUTH: Most cheeses contain almost no lactose and yogurt has good bacteria to help digest lactose which means that dairy doesn’t need to be eliminated from the diet if you have difficulty digesting the carbohydrate lactose in milk, also most people can drink up to two glasses of milk a day without symptoms of intolerance – as long as they are consumed at separate meals.
MYTH: Drinking milk can cause kidney stones
TRUTH: Milk may assist in protecting against kidney stones because the calcium binds to oxalates (a salt that makes up kidney stones) in food so they can’t be absorbed which reduces the risk of kidney stones.
MYTH: Eating dairy foods cause acne
TRUTH: There is no scientific link between acne and dairy foods. Dermatological foundations state that diet is not a cause of acne; it is skin type, genetics, hormones and pollutants that are more likely to be the cause. A healthy balanced diet will help ensure your skin gets all the nutrients it requires.
Dairy is a major food group, whose exclusion without consultation with a doctor or accredited dietitian can result in nutrient deficiencies that puts your health at risk.
To read more about the myths of dairy foods in your diet head over to the website for the complete fact sheet.
Dairy Australia has recently launched a website to help educate on the importance of dairy to a balanced diet. The website contains some fabulous dairy recipes, a calcium calculator to ensure your family is getting all they need and some great fact sheets.
Head on over and check out what dairy can do for you at: www.dairyaustralia.com.au/kidsneed3
What is your favourite dairy food?