Get the Real Deal About Your Milk!

When I was a teenager I would read a variety of teen magazines and collect the milk posters that pictured celebrities with milk mustaches. They were cool right? This was and still is a very powerful milk campaign that inspired me even at a young age to make sure I consumed adequate milk products. Milk campaigns now are targeting a wider audience and trying to show the health benefits milk can provide us, rather than simply associate milk with a celebrity. There is a lot of misinformation about milk on the internet, even some websites that are anti-milk. I have no agenda other than to provide credible and reliable nutrition information to my clients, and to you! I do believe that milk does a body good, and helps us to grow in a healthy way. It has 16 essential nutrients, it helps build strong bones and teeth, it is a great recovery food post physical activity, and may even play a role in weight management. For Nutrition Month 2012,  Dietitians of Canada has looked at the scientific evidence and come up with some common milk myths to bust.

MYTH #16. Cows’ milk is full of hormones and antibiotics.

THE TRUTH: Not true! Canadian milk meets strict government standards so it’s safe and healthy. Canadian dairy farmers give their cows the best diet and health care so they produce quality milk naturally. Growth hormones to stimulate milk production are not approved for sale or permitted for use in Canada. Just like humans, cows sometimes get sick and need medications like antibiotics. If this happens, the cow is identified and milked separately until she is healthy again. Her milk is properly disposed of for a mandatory length of time, to allow for the medication to get out of her system. Milk, organic and non-organic, is a safe, nutritious choice.

MYTH #17. Cows’ milk is only good for baby cows, not humans.
THE TRUTH: Cows’ milk is not just good for baby cows. Around the world, humans enjoy health benefits from the many essential nutrients found in milk. Milk is one of the richest natural food sources of calcium and, in Canada, an excellent source of vitamin D. Both nutrients are needed to build strong, healthy bones. Milk has other health benefits too. For example, as part of a healthy diet, milk might help protect against high blood pressure and colon cancer. Canada’s Food Guide recommends you enjoy two cups (500 mL) of lower-fat milk every day for good health.
*Just to make a note here, lower-fat milk is recommended for children 2 years and up. It is NOT recommended for children under 2 years of age unless recommended and supervised by a Registered Dietitian. Children under 2 years should be consuming higher fat milk (i.e. homogenized 3.25%).
MYTH #18. Pasteurization destroys vitamins and minerals in milk.
THE TRUTH: Pasteurization has little impact on the nutrients in milk. Pasteurization is a simple heat treatment that destroys potentially harmful bacteria sometimes found in milk. This is an important process that helps to make milk safe for Canadians to drink. It is not safe to drink unpasteurized (raw) milk because it might contain bacteria that can be harmful to your health. Pasteurized milk is a natural source of 15 essential nutrients, plus it’s fortified with vitamin D (raw milk isn’t). Drink two cups (500 mL) of lower-fat milk each day to get the calcium and vitamin D you need to help build and maintain healthy bones.
If you would like to read more information about milk and its health benefits, visit Alberta Milk.

So let’s raise our glasses and have a cup of milk today!