Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

Is milk fit for human consumption?

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Myth: Cows’ milk is only good for baby cows, not humans.
What Dietitians of Canada says:
“Cows’ milk is not just good for baby cows… Milk is one of the richest natural food sources of calcium and, in Canada, an excellent source of vitamin D… Canada’s Food Guide recommends you enjoy two cups of lower-fat milk every day for good health.”
What I say:
Milk is not a necessary component of a healthy diet. Yes, milk is a great source of calcium. However, it’s only a source of vitamin D because it’s fortified in Canada. I think using vitamin D as a reason to drink milk is akin to encouraging people to consume white flour because it’s fortified with folic acid. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to people consuming milk, I just think that alternatives should be highlighted as well. Obviously Dietitians of Canada isn’t going to do this because they’re shoved so far down in Dairy Farmers of Canada’s back pocket that they can’t see the light of day. Many people are unable consume milk due to lactose intolerance or an allergy. Those who cannot drink milk may be better able to tolerate other dairy products such as yoghurt and cheese. Those who cannot drink milk, or do not want to drink milk, can have almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, etc. Just make sure you’re choosing an unsweetened variety and check to see if it contains calcium and vitamin D. If you consume few, or no, animal products you will likely need a vitamin D supplement. Check with your dietitian and/or doctor to see if this is something you need.

Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food.

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