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5 Dairy Myths Debunked

Myth

Milk and other dairy myths you’ve probably heard … are they true?

5 Dairy Myths Debunked

Dairy has a become a highly controversial topic regarding health and nutrition recently. There’s lots of conflicting ideas and opinions going around, so understandable it is hard to know what’s the truth and what’s not. Lucky for you, our experts have done the research and debunked the most common dairy myths.

MYTH #1: Humans are not meant to drink cow’s milk

You’ve probably heard that milk is intended solely for calves, and humans have not evolved to, and should not drink milk. Whilst milk is intended for calves, most humans are able to digest milk and other dairy products with no adverse gastrointestinal effects. Humans are also very adaptable and have actually been consuming milk for thousands of years. Milk is also great because it is an excellent source of protein and calcium, and can be easily adapted into many recipes.

MYTH #2: You can't have any dairy foods if you’re lactose intolerant

Luckily for you, if you are lactose intolerant, there may still be dairy foods you can eat without the uncomfortable symptoms afterwards! Some dairy products, such as hard cheeses like parmesan, naturally have a low lactose content and often people with lactose intolerance can still consume these. Everyone also has a different threshold of tolerance, so there may be different dairy products and amounts YOU are able to tolerate. There are also dairy products with added lactase - the enzyme which digests lactose and that lactose intolerant people don’t have. Added lactase in a dairy product will likely make it much easier for you to digest and relieve you of any symptoms you suffer.

MYTH #3: Dairy is bad for your gut

Gut health is another buzz word online. There is a lot of information suggesting that eliminating dairy is necessary to achieve good gut health. As far as research suggests, there is no evidence that dairy is bad for our guts (unless you are lactose intolerant). In actual fact, fermented dairy products with good bacteria like yoghurt and kefir are great for our gut health. Check out our article for more information on what to eat to keep your gut healthy.

MYTH #4: Low fat / skim milk has added sugar

In Australia, there is no sugar added to plain cows milk. Low fat milk will typically contain more sugar per 100mL than full cream, but this is because when the fat is skimmed off the top the remaining milk is slightly more concentrated because the overall volume has been decreased. The sugar in milk is also naturally occurring (lactose) rather than added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Low fat milk is still full of important nutrients like calcium and protein.

MYTH #5: You have to stop eating dairy foods to lose weight

There is a common misconception that dairy foods contribute to weight gain. Dairy products help to meet nutrient needs (i.e., calcium, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and zinc) and there are many low fat dairy foods available, such as skim milk, low fat yogurt and reduced fat cheese.

A review of the evidence found that recommended levels of dairy products (> 3 serves per day) may be used during weight maintenance without contributing to weight gain compared to diets low in dairy products.

The bottom line

Overall, there is plenty of false information surrounding dairy, however, for most people dairy is perfectly healthy and can be included as part of a balanced diet. If you choose to eliminate dairy for ethical or environmental reasons that is totally fine - just be sure to choose fortified milks to ensure you are not missing out on any key nutrients!

Your Personal Healthy Eating Quiz

What you eat or don’t eat affects how you look, feel and perform. Take our short quiz to find out what foods you could introduce to help you be your best.

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What is healthy eating?

Eating healthy is making sure you enjoy a wide variety of foods from each of the five major food groups daily, in the amounts recommended. The five major food groups as recommended by the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating are:

  1. vegetables and legumes/bean
  2. fruit
  3. lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, legumes/beans
  4. grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties
  5. milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat.

Foods are grouped together because they provide similar amounts of key nutrients and eating a variety of foods from the list above helps to promote good health and reduce the risk of disease.

How do I improve my diet?

If you want to improve your diet you have come to the right place. By completing the Healthy Eating Quiz you’ll receive instant personalised feedback and a report on your diet quality to highlight any areas where you can improve your overall eating habits. Your score is based on the frequency and variety of the foods consumed from the five major food groups mentioned above. No Money No Time can help you improve your score by providing tips, goals and suggestions. On top of this we will provide quick, cheap and healthy recipes as well as credible answers to diet hacks, myths and FAQ’s.

Is my diet healthy?

Dietary habits are different between people. Some people choose to follow a particular diet (i.e., Keto diet or vegan diet) while some have to make changes due to certain food restrictions or health conditions. If you want to know if what you usually eat is healthy, then do the Healthy Eating Quiz today to give you the answers in less than 10 minutes.

Why is healthy eating important?

Your HEQ score and personalised feedback report is based on the frequency and variety of healthy core foods you usually eat. This is important because no single food contains all the nutrients we need to stay healthy. Some foods are higher in nutrients than others and people who have a lot of variety in the foods they eat are more likely to be healthy and to stay healthy. In other words, if you can eat a large variety of vegetables as opposed to only 2-3 types of vegetables, the benefits are much greater. This type of diet also helps you to feel better, think better and perform better during your usual daily activities.

Take the Healthy Eating Quiz