Milk Myths

Nutritionally speaking, milk is the cream of the crop. Wholesome and packed with essential nutrients, milk and its derivatives such as cheese, yoghurt and dairy drinks including laban help us live healthy, happy and active lives.

According to research findings published in the Michigan Dairy Review by the Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the Michigan State University, even though the awareness on health benefits of dairy products is increasing, there are still a number of common misconceptions about dairy foods.

Myth 1

Consuming milk can lead to weight gain.
Weight gain occurs when one consumes more calories than the body can burn as energy. Contrary to this common myth, research suggests that including three servings of low fat dairy foods in a calorie controlled diet may help achieve greater weight loss.

Myth 2

Spinach is as good a source of calcium as milk.
There is more calcium in 1 cup of milk than there is in 16 cups of spinach. One will need to eat more than 48 cups of spinach to get the recommended daily intake of calcium. Furthermore, milk contains Vitamin D, which enhances calcium absorption.

Myth 3

Individuals with lactose intolerance should avoid dairy foods.
Lactose intolerance is often confused with milk allergies. Lactose intolerance is not an allergic reaction to dairy foods; rather it is the inability to digest the milk sugar lactose. Many people with lactose intolerance can drink up to 1 cup of milk daily without problems.

Myth 4

Milk causes asthma.
While infants with milk allergies are more likely to develop asthma later in life, there is no scientific data to support the claim that consuming dairy foods makes a person asthmatic.

Myth 5

Consuming dairy foods can increase the risk of heart disease.
A diet high in saturated fat regardless of the source will likely cause heart disease, not dairy foods. Those who wish to reduce their fat intake can opt for low fat milk or dairy foods.

Myth 6

If you take calcium supplements, you don’t need milk.
Milk isn’t only a good source of calcium, it also provides other high quality nutrients such as protein, vitamins A, D, B12, riboflavin, zinc, potassium and magnesium.

Myth 7

Humans are not designed to drink cow’s milk.
Humans are designed to eat plant as well as animal products such as meat and dairy products. The lactose enzyme in our gut aids in the digestion of cow’s milk.

Myth 8

Drinking milk can cause kidney stones.
According to the Nurses Health Study, milk may actually protect against the formation of kidney stones. It was suggested that the calcium in milk may bind to oxalates in food so that they can no longer be absorbed by the body, reducing the risk of kidney stones.