Did you know milk products are one of the most under-consumed food groups by adults? Registered Dietitian Sue Mah puts our milk IQ to the test with these true or false statements.
1. Milk products are only good for our bones.
- Milk products contain up to 16 essential nutrients that contribute to a healthy body. Each of these nutrients found in milk and milk products is really important on their own. For example, the calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin A and protein also work in synergy to help keep us healthy, build and maintain bone mass, and may help to prevent different types of diseases such as osteoporosis, hypertension and colon cancer.
- Research shows that milk products can also help us reach and maintain a healthy weight.
- There may even be more elements in milk products that have yet to be discovered which could explain their role in disease prevention.
2. A 100 g single serving of yogurt counts as one serving of milk products
- Actually, to get a full serving of milk products, you need to consume almost TWO of these yogurts.
Canada's Food Guide recommends that all Canadians should consume from two to four servings of milk products every day, depending on your age groups. For example, adults over the age of 50 should consume 3 servings every day.
A serving of milk products is:
- 1 cup of milk
- Cheese 50 g (1 ½ oz) of Cheddar, Mozzarella, Swiss, etc. about the size of two fingers
- grated, it is ½ cup
- Yogurt 175 g (¾ cup) or almost 2 single serve containers
Mix and match any 2-4 servings of milk product daily and you're getting enough. Try these ideas:
- Instead of a coffee, try a latte - that's one serving of milk products right there.
- Add a slice of cheese in your favourite sandwich or sprinkle cheese over a soup or salad.
- Snack on yogurt, or my favourite is to mix it with fresh berries for either breakfast or dessert.
- Use milk instead of water when you're making pancakes, muffins and soup.
3. Teenage girls consume more milk products than teenage boys.
- In Canada, 61% of teenage boys do not consume enough milk products for their age group, and for girls, it's even worse.
- 83% of teenage girls don't get enough milk products every day. This stat is really concerning when you think teens are building their maximum bone mass at this age.
- After the age of 30, about two-thirds of adults don't get enough milk products.
4. Chocolate milk is an excellent drink to sip post-workout.
- Studies suggest chocolate milk may be an ideal post-exercise drink. It provides a near optimal balance of carbohydrates and protein to repair and refuel the body.
- Milk, which is 90% water, is also good for rehydrating the body and restoring fluid lost through sweating. Milk also has a high level of natural electrolytes that help the body retain fluids.
- Chocolate milk has the same 16 nutrients as white milk and doesn't contain any more sugar than the same quantity of unsweetened apple juice.
5. We start losing bone mass in our 40s.
- We actually reach our maximum bone mass in our twenties. After that, bone mass starts declining. To minimize this loss of bone mass, it's important to keep consuming enough milk products to get bone building nutrients and do weight-bearing exercises - like walking, playing tennis...
- This is why it is even more concerning that over 80% of teenage girls and over 60% of teenage boys don't get enough milk products - this is the most important time to build strong bones.
6. Organic milk is healthier than conventional milk.
- Organic and conventional milk are nutritionally similar: they contain the same amount of calcium, vitamin D and other essential nutrients.
- Like conventional milk, organic milk must meet rigid quality standards at each step from the farm to consumers. In Canada, both conventional milk and organic milk do not contain antibiotics or artificial growth hormones.
- Organic milk is produced by cows that are fed organically grown feed.
- The main difference between organic and non-organic milk is the cost. Organic milk is often more expensive. It is, ultimately, a personal choice; both types of milk are natural, safe and wholesome.