Happy National Dairy Month! In June, dairy farmers and producers are honored for their important work in agriculture and the food industry. While dairy has been a part of our food system for hundreds of years, it has recently received negative attention alongside the rise of plant-based “milk” beverages. (For those who choose to consume dairy-free products for allergy or religious purposes, keep doing you!) Ever wondered if some of the things you’ve heard are true? Here are some of the facts!
Myth 1: Milk that we buy contains antibiotics and unsafe hormones from the cows
False! The milk that we buy in stores has been extensively tested for the presence of antibiotics prior to leaving the farm, and no milk containing trace antibiotics is allowed to be sold on shelves. (More information on how farmers keep antibiotics out of milk here.) As far as hormones, there is no current evidence implying that the trace hormones in milk is unsafe. In fact, hormones are also naturally occuring in soy “milk” and other plant-based beverages as well.
Myth 2: Milk and dairy cause inflammation when consumed
Not necessarily! New evidence shows that in some cases, the opposite may even be true for healthy adults! However, if you have a milk allergy or lactose intolerance, consuming dairy products may cause inflammatory responses.
Myth 3: Dairy product consumption creates excess mucus and irritates asthma symptoms
Also false! See compiled supporting research here.
Myth 4: If you are lactose intolerance, you have to avoid all dairy products
Maybe not! For many people with lactose intolerance, small amounts of aged cheeses and yogurts are tolerable, which is good news for those looking to increase calcium, protein, and probiotic intake. In addition to yogurt and cheese, there are many new great tasting lactose-free milk options in dairy aisles!
As with the other food groups contained in MyPlate, dairy can contribute to a healthy, well-rounded diet.These are many of the common myths I’ve heard about dairy products, and I am grateful to have this information to provide to people who ask me if they should be cutting dairy out of their diets.
Did this article teach you anything new about milk? (Or make you crave a glass of chocolate milk?)