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Nutrition Facts & Myths

Should people with lactose intolerance avoid all dairy?

There are many ways to enjoy dairy foods, even if you are lactose intolerant. Most people who are lactose intolerance can eat some dairy foods, such as lactose-reduced or lactose-free milk, hard cheese and yogurt.

Are antibiotics given to dairy cows found in milk?

Sometimes cows get sick just like people do. When that happens, sometimes antibiotics are used to help make them well again. The milk from that cow does not go into the milk supply until she is well again and the antibiotic is no longer in her system. Milk is tested several times before it is bottled. In the rare event that inspectors find any antibiotic residues in a tanker of milk, the entire load is dumped to make sure the milk you drink is safe.

How many serving of dairy should adults get every day?

Current Dietary Guidelines recommend those 9 years and older get three servings of dairy every day. The recommendation is two servings of dairy every day for children 2 – 3 years old and 2 ½ servings for children 4 – 8 years old. A serving is – 1 cup of milk, 8 oz (1 cup) of yogurt, 1 ½ oz of natural cheese or 2 oz of processed cheese.

Is chocolate milk bad for kids?

Chocolate milk is an excellent source of 9 essential nutrients and children who do not get access to chocolate milk at school miss out on important nutrients that they don’t get from other foods.  It is important to remember all milk contains 12 grams of the natural milk sugar- lactose. The chocolate milk served in schools was reformulated several years ago to reduce the amount of added sugar.

From a nutritional standpoint is organic milk any different than regular milk?

According to the USDA, no distinctions should be made between organically and non-organically produced products in terms of quality, appearance or safety. All milk is required to be tested to the same standards.   Organic and regular milk contain the same nine essential vitamins and minerals that make dairy foods an important part of your diet. The difference is in production, not quality, appearance, nutrition or safety.

Are soy, rice or almond beverages more nutritious than cow’s milk?

Alternative beverages are not milk. They are highly processed beans, nuts and grains that do not pack the 9 essential nutrients that cow’s milk does. Other beverages often lack the same amounts of protein, calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients found in milk. Be sure to check the nutrition panels closely and read the ingredients list.

Does the saturated fat found in cheese contribute to heart disease?

Decades ago cheese got a bad rap, but recent studies have consistently found that a higher intake of dairy saturated fat is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, especially in women. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Council Committee agrees and takes it a step further, stating that dairy products are associated with reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes and lower blood pressure. As with anything, enjoy in moderation.

Is skim milk just watered-down regular milk?

Anyone who’s ever looked at skim milk can understand the rationale behind this dairy myth, but the truth is that skim milk really is skimmed — it’s just had the fat removed. All the natural calcium, phosphorous, potassium, and other nutrients are still there, and often Vitamin D and A are added for good measure.

Should cheese be minimized in the diet due to its high sodium content?

Cheese contributes just 8% of the sodium in the U.S. diet, on average. If you’re concerned, try lower-salt cheeses such as Swiss, Monterey Jack, ricotta, cheddar, mozzarella and Brie. A little sodium is worth the other nutrients that come with it, from vitamin A to phosphorus to protein. Cheese is also the #2 source of calcium in the American diet, too.

Can drinking milk cause early puberty?

Science does not support a link between early puberty and milk and dairy products. The scientific community proposes that higher rates of childhood obesity may be responsible for earlier maturation.

Have a specific question? Ask a dietitian. 

Glass of Milk with Cheese Plate and Yogurt (2)