Is dairy associated with weight gain?
The Australian Dietary Guidelines point out that, as part of a balanced diet, milk, cheese and yogurt are not linked to weight gain. Other research shows that people can lose more body weight and body fat if they include 3-4 serves of milk, cheese or yoghurt in their weight-loss diet, compared with weight loss diets low in dairy foods.
What if I am lactose intolerant?
Dairy foods don’t need to be eliminated from the diet if you have difficulty digesting the carbohydrate lactose in milk, or lactose maldigestion. If you have lactose intolerance, the Australian Dietary Guidelines suggest up to 250 ml of milk may be well tolerated if it’s eaten with other foods, or throughout the day. Most cheeses contain virtually no lactose and yoghurt contains ‘good’ bacteria that help to digest lactose. Low-lactose and lactose-free milks are also available. Seek advice from your doctor if you suspect an allergy or intolerance to foods.
Can I take calcium supplements instead?
Some might say that calcium supplements can replace milk, however milk isn’t just a great source of calcium, it’s also a source of protein, carbohydrate, riboflavin, vitamin B12, vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. A calcium tablet won’t provide you with all the other nutrients dairy foods add to the diet. The Australian Dietary Guidelines advise foods may be preferable to calcium from some supplements.
For more information on head to our Dairy Food Myth Fact Sheet or the Legendairy website.