Dairy Facts & Myths
Food myths can lead to unnecessary dietary omissions as well as nutritional deficiencies. According to a report by the American Dietetic Association, dietary myths can have harmful effects on consumers’ health and well-being. Misinformation about milk and other dairy products have been circulating for centuries, but the truth is, dairy products are naturally nutrient-rich foods providing calcium, potassium, other minerals and vitamins, and protein essential for human growth and development.
Let’s Tackle the Myths:
MYTH: Consuming dairy products can lead to weight gain.
• Despite popular belief that dairy foods can be “fattening,” a study showed no difference in weight gain for adolescent girls on a high-calcium diet versus girls on a normal diet.
• Increased consumption of dairy foods as part of a reduced-calorie diet may help promote weight loss. In a 24-week study of obese adults, those who consumed a reduced-calorie diet with 3 to 4 servings of dairy foods lost a greater percentage of body weight than those taking calcium supplements and those in a low dairy or low-calcium group.
MYTH: Organic milk is healthier than regular milk.
• There is no conclusive scientific evidence that organic food, including milk, is superior with regard to food safety or nutrition. Organic and regular milk contain the same nine essential nutrients that make dairy products an important part of a healthy diet.
• All milk is tested for antibiotics to ensure it meets the government’s stringent quality and safety standards.
• Certified organic products provide another option for consumers to meet the Dietary Guidelines recommendation for three servings of milk and milk products each day based.
MYTH: Flavored milk isn’t good for children due to sugar content.
• Flavored milk delivers the same nutrients as regular milk.
• 70% of girls and 60% of boys (ages 6-11) do not meet the recommended daily amount of calcium. According to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines, small amounts of sugars added to nutrient-dense foods, such as reduced-fat milk products, may enhance the palatability of these products, thus improving nutrient intake without contributing excessive calories.
• Unflavored milk is lower in sugar than flavored milk; however, experts agree it is better for children and adolescents to drink flavored milk to ensure intake of protein, calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients important for growth and development, than to avoid milk altogether.
MYTH: Drinking milk leads to heart disease and stroke.
There is no scientific evidence that consuming milk or other dairy foods as recommended leads to heart disease or stroke. On the contrary, including milk and other dairy products in the diet may help to reduce the risk for these diseases.
MYTH: Intake of dairy products causes some cancers.
There is no credible evidence that consumption of milk or other dairy products plays a role in the etiology of cancers such as those of the prostate and breast. In fact, some studies indicate that dairy intake may reduce the risk of cancer
Content provided by the American Dietetic Association and The National Dairy Council