When most people think about dairy, their first thought may be that it is a source of calcium, and that it's good for strong bones. Others, however, hold fairly different opinions when it comes to the health benefits of dairy, influenced by outdated research or incorrect information.
In NZ we aren’t getting enough calcium in our day, with nearly two-thirds of us having inadequate intakes according to Ministry of Health National Nutrition Surveys. Milk is the largest contributor of calcium to our diet in New Zealand. To get enough calcium we could ensure we are including enough dairy in our diets. Ministry of Health NZ Eating & Activity Guidelines recommend we consume at least 2 servings of dairy a day, with recommendations up to 4 servings in older population groups. Milk and milk products are highly nutritious, containing protein, vitamins and a rich source of minerals such as calcium and phosphorus.
Fiction. The texture of milk can leave you with a temporary perception of mucus in the mouth and throat. However, scientific research has shown that milk consumption does not actually create the production or formation of mucus or phlegm. If you do have a cold, milk can still be consumed in moderation as part of a healthy eating plan, providing both important fluids and essential nutrients while you are unwell.
Fiction. Water is never added to lite or trim milk. The only difference is the proportion of cream we remove to get the right fat level. This gives lighter-tasting milk while still providing a rich bundle of essential nutrients, making it a great choice if you’re looking for a lower-calorie option.
No sugars are added. When you look at a label on your bottle of milk, trim milk may contain around 0.2g more naturally occurring milk sugar (lactose) than full-fat milk, per 100mL. This is because when you reduce fat levels, the levels of everything else within the milk, including protein, calcium and lactose will increase proportionally.
Think about it like this. You have Glass A which contains fat, carbohydrates (lactose) and protein. You remove most of the fat to give you Glass B. You haven’t added anything but the parts left now make up proportionally more.
So while lowering the fat results in a slightly higher level of sugar, it’s not because it has been added!
Fiction. People with lactose intolerance do not need to avoid dairy foods. Most people with clinically diagnosed lactose intolerance can consume up to a glass of regular milk and other dairy products without any concerns, particularly cheese and yoghurts because they are naturally low in lactose, or when consumed as part of a meal. In addition, Anchor Zero Lacto milk is also available for those who do suffer from lactose intolerance.
This is different from dairy protein allergy where all dairy must be avoided. Check out our article for more information. If you think you might have lactose intolerance, see your health professional for a proper diagnosis and dietary advice tailored to your individual needs.
False! In New Zealand, the use of growth hormones in dairy milking cows is illegal, you can find more information about this here
Bone strength is related to the density of bone; so in general, the denser your bones the stronger they are. Osteoporosis is a condition of low bone density associated with a higher risk of bone fracture.
Calcium is one of the main dietary factors affecting bone density. Public health experts and scientific authorities such as the International Osteoporosis Foundation recommend the consumption of milk and dairy products as the most readily available dietary sources of calcium for the development and maintenance of strong bones.
This is an interesting theory, but one that isn’t supported by science. It suggests that the human body hasn’t been ‘designed’ or hasn’t evolved to tolerate the milk of another animal. However, the evolution of our culture and genetics tells another story - beginning with the domestication of animals, when farming replaced hunting and gathering around 10,000 years ago. Once cow’s milk was recognised as a potential food source, it was initially consumed as products such as yoghurt and cheese which preserved the milk, enabling it to be stored to be available in seasons of low milk production. Also, yoghurt and cheese were easier to transport and were better tolerated than milk due to their lower lactose content.
Since then, the human body has evolved genetically over thousands of years to produce lactase, the enzyme that helps us digest and tolerate lactose, throughout our lives. This adaptation opened up an important source of nutrition to sustain communities and ensure survival when harvests failed and is the reason we can enjoy a delicious glass of milk to this day.
Fiction! All Anchor fresh milk is exactly that, fresh! We don’t make them from milk powder as it wouldn’t taste as fresh or be energy efficient! It takes a lot of energy to turn milk into milk powder! In NZ we are lucky to have plenty of milk around so can easily bottle fresh milk
NZ makes a variety of dairy products such as milk powders & UHT milk which last a lot longer than fresh milk. The majority of these powders & UHT products are exported overseas often to countries where they may have limited availability of fresh milk. In some countries where access to fresh milk is challenging, some companies sell reconstituted milk that is made from milk powder.
Check out our article here about how we make Anchor fresh milk in NZ. Anchor do also sell a range of milk powders and UHT milk which are a convenient choice when you’re not near a fridge!
Not true! While it’s important to lay the right foundations for bone health during childhood and into early adulthood including the right nutrition and physical activity, this doesn’t mean it all stops there. Good nutrition is a key element in maintaining good bone health. Eating a balanced diet including calcium lowers your risk of developing osteoporosis especially in older populations (65 years +). Dairy products are a rich source of calcium and provide an easy way to incorporate the recommended daily intake of calcium in your diet. Including regular weight bearing training exercises as part of your routine is also important e.g. walking/running or resistance training such as doing exercises with weights.