This week we’re celebrating Healthy Bones Week to help raise awareness of the importance of building and maintaining healthy bones for life! The inclusion of dairy foods in our diet is essential to ensure we receive adequate calcium for strong bones! You may have noticed there’s a growing number of ‘dairy-free’ claims on food packages and more and more hype around the benefits of going ‘dairy-free’. If you’re confused, we don’t blame you!
Let’s have a look at these common myths about DAIRY
1. Dairy foods make you fat
If your goal is to lose weight, then have no fear! Consuming 3-4 serves each day can actually help you to achieve your goals.
Researchers investigated individuals following a diet that included 3-4 serves of dairy vs individuals eating no dairy at all. The individuals consuming dairy lost more weight, fat and centimetres off their stomachs compared with those who weren’t eating dairy! Why? The exact reason is still being worked out by researchers, however, it is believed that dairy foods contain unique proteins that help maintain muscle mass whilst keeping our metabolisms firing.
2. “I’m lactose intolerant, therefore I can’t have any dairy”
A diagnosis of lactose intolerance doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up dairy foods. In fact, many dairy foods are naturally low in lactose. Cheeses (mostly hard cheeses) such as cheddar, parmesan and Swiss cheese contain hardly any lactose. As for yoghurt, luckily the healthy bacteria present in most yoghurts help to digest the lactose and therefore this food is often tolerated by individuals with lactose intolerance.
3. “If I take a calcium tablet, I don’t need milk”
It might not come as a surprise but when it comes to important nutrients like calcium, we always recommend FOOD FIRST before supplements. Yes, milk will provide you with a good calcium hit but if you’re trading in milk for a calcium supplement you are also going to miss out on the other nutrients milk has to offer (potassium, magnesium, protein, vitamin A, zinc…the list goes on!)
If you are intolerant to dairy and have been advised to exclude it from your diet we recommend seeking the advice of an Accredited Practicing Dietitian to ensure you are meeting your recommended calcium requirements. Contact us here.