Feeding: milk under the magnifying glass

On the web and social networks, misinformation about nutrition has become a real disaster. And milk, like other common foods, sometimes gets a bad rap. What is right, what is wrong? We are evaluating.

More than ever, despite the frequent interventions of nutritionists, the diet can be laced with misinformation. A recipe for clearer vision? Go back to the source and rely on scientific studies that are based on hard data. Here are five myths about milk that need to be debunked, with supporting studies.

Myth number 1

Milk is not good for health

Countless studies show that milk and dairy products, which are high in calcium, play a major role in bone development and are also an excellent source of high-quality protein. Milk and dairy products are foods with a high nutritional value which is why they are now classified in the category of protein foods Canada Food Guide With eggs, legumes, tofu and meat.

Health Canada, the country’s health authority, recommends the regular consumption of protein foods, which are part of the foundations of healthy eating. Milk contains 15 essential nutrients and is always in stock right now, and if it works for you, it is a food to consider in your eating habits.

Good to know

Calcium is an essential nutrient for healthy skeleton, teeth, and muscles that is naturally found in dairy products, and is more bioavailable (so more easily absorbed by the human body) than calcium added in some plant-based beverages.

Myth #2

Milk is a processed food

Milk passes NOVA classification test with flying colours. Recognized worldwide by institutions and government agencies, this test highlights the standard of food processing. This is because milk is classified as unprocessed or minimally processed (due to the pasteurization process). This is not the case for most vegetable drinks, which can have about fifteen ingredients added, ranging from salt to sugars.

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Good to know

It’s hard to get more natural milk than Quebec milk! From the farmhouse to the glass on the table, his journey is simple and clear. After milking, it is transported to a factory where its quality is checked before it is homogenized, enriched with vitamins A and D, pasteurized and packaged.

Myth #3

Milk contains additives that you should beware of

Milk is a 100% natural product, to which vitamins A and D are added only for general health purposes. In fact, as required by the Government of Canada for more than 50 years, milk should be fortified with vitamin D to prevent bone health problems in the population. As for the vitamin A that is naturally found in whole milk fat, it is added to skimmed milk (1%) and partially skimmed milk (2%) to compensate for the losses associated with the skimming process. Remember that this vitamin is essential for good tissue and bone health, for the formation of certain proteins in the body and for night vision.

Good to know

A study published by the Oxford University Press Center, which is based on the NOVA classification, found that alternative drinks contain additives — some of which can contain up to fifteen ingredients — that sometimes include water and oil at the top of the list. Note that these additives are used, among other things, to reproduce the taste and texture of milk.

Myth #4

Milk contains added hormones and antibiotics

Nothing could be more false. Quebec milk does not contain artificial or synthetic growth hormones, which are prohibited in the country. Health Canada has refused approval decades ago for bovine somatotropin intended to stimulate milk production, arguing that its use is harmful to animal health. In addition, the milk sold to consumers does not contain antibiotics. If a cow gets sick and the vet duly prescribes antibiotics to treat her, her milk is simply discarded. As an added precaution, every shipment of milk destined for consumers is systematically tested, both on the farm and in the factory. And if traces are discovered, production will be completely destroyed.

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Good to know

In Quebec, as in Canada as a whole, dairy production is subject to very strict quality standards, applied from start to finish in the production chain.

Myth #5

Milk does not make you feel full

This is a mistake. Because of its high content of complete proteins that are 100% absorbed by the body, milk naturally nourishes and satiates the body. In comparison, the human body’s absorption of most plant proteins is 40% to 80%. With the exception of soy drinks, whose protein content is similar to that of milk, alternative drinks are less satiating.

Good to know

As many studies have shown, protein-rich foods promote adherence to a balanced diet in the long term. Milk, like yogurt, cheese, eggs and legumes, provides a long-lasting feeling of satiety and regulates energy intake throughout the day. They also offer the advantage of being easy to use and require no preparation or cooking!

Sources: cambridge.org, Government of Canada, Canada’s Food Guide, Nova, Oxford University Press, Pubmed, Health Canada.

Milk and health: facts to remember

This content has been produced by Le Devoir’s Special Publications team in collaboration with the advertiser. The Le Devoir editorial team had no role in producing this content.

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