Opinion

Common misconceptions about dairy foods

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September 22, 2016

I love dairy – milk, yoghurt, cheese oh and Connoisseur™ ice-cream!

Dairy foods provide us with essential nutrients including calcium, protein, carbohydrates, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and riboflavin. These nutrients are essential for health and help to make teeth and bones strong.

Many myths are floating around that dairy makes you put on weight, affects intolerances and causes pimple breakouts.

Myth – those with lactose intolerance must avoid dairy

Those with lactose intolerance do not need to avoid dairy products. The Better Health Channel reports those with a lactose intolerance can consume up to 240ml of milk with other foods over the day. Many hard cheeses have a low lactose content so are usually tolerated in small amounts. It is best to try foods as each persons level of intolerance will vary.

Myth – diary foods increase weight

We all need to be eating foods from all the food groups to meet our nutrient requirements – any diet that eliminates a food group should start alarm bells ringing. Choosing low fat and sugar options are the best advice I have and not over consuming dairy products.

Myth – toddlers should drink low fat milk

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend low fat milk is not appropriate for children under 2 years. This is because they need the additional energy and fat soluble vitamins. Once they reach 2 they are more likely to be receiving energy and nutrients from more food sources.

Myth – milk causes mucous

Some people think that milk causes mucous. Many studies have shown that this isn’t true – you might have a thin coating in the mouth and throat after drinking milk but it isn’t mucous being produced.

Myth – dairy food causes acne

There is no strong evidence that this is the case. Nutrition Australia wrote that the American Academy of Dermatology and Australasian College of Dermatologists state acne is not caused by diet but our skin type, hormones, genes and exposure to pollutants.

Therefore a balanced diet is recommended.

Myth – milk is linked with asthma

Common triggers for asthma are dust mites, exercise and pollen, milk is rarely a trigger. 2.5% of those with asthma are affected by food and drinks. The Australian Asthma Council recommends a well balanced diet from all the food groups.

Acknowledgements Nutrition Australia

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