5 dairy myths - busted!


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Others however, hold fairly different opinions when it comes to the health benefits of dairy, influenced by outdated research or incorrect information.

So, when it comes to dairy let’s bust some myths with Fonterra Australia’s Nutrition & Regulatory Affairs Strategist, Deanna Mak.

Myth: dairy foods make you gain weight

There’s lots of misinformation out there about dairy and weight gain. Well, evidence shows that consuming your recommended serves of dairy foods as part of a kilojoule-reduced diet, can actually result in more weight loss and more body fat loss. Milk, cheese and yoghurt are also valuable sources of protein to improve lean muscle mass and low-GI for longer lasting energy.

Myth: you can’t eat dairy if you’re lactose intolerant

If you’re lactose intolerant you actually don’t need to avoid dairy. Lactose intolerance is different to dairy 

protein allergy, where all dairy must be avoided. Most people with diagnosed lactose intolerance can still consume up to a glass of regular milk a day and other dairy products without any concerns. Hard cheese and yoghurts in particular are great if you’re lactose intolerant because they are naturally lower in lactose.

Myth: skim milk is watered down

Water is never added to our fresh milks.  The only difference is the proportion of cream we remove to get the right fat level, which gives it a 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.

Myth: cheese is bad for your heart health

Eating cheese doesn’t raise “bad” cholesterol levels, and it’s not linked to high blood pressure. Although cheese contains saturated fat and salt, it contains a whole host of beneficial nutrients. It’s likely the way these nutrients interact as a package that results in an overall positive effect on heart health. But, everything in moderation.

Myth: you should avoid dairy if you’re sick

Phlegm is the thick, sticky mucus that drips down the back of the throat when a person has a cold. Drinking milk may make phlegm seem thicker and more irritating to the throat, but it doesn't cause the body to make more phlegm.