Myth: Consuming dairy products can lead to weight gain.

Fact: Weight gain occurs when one consumes more calories than the body can burn as energy. Contrary to this common myth, research both in animals and humans suggest that including three servings of low-fat dairy foods in a calorie controlled diet may help achieve greater weight loss (Zemel, 2005).

Myth: Milk causes asthma.

Fact: While infants with milk allergies are more likely to develop asthma later in life, there are no scientific data that support that consuming dairy foods makes a person asthmatic.

Myth: Consuming dairy foods can increase the risk of heart disease.

Fact: A diet high in saturated fat regardless of the source will likely cause heart disease and not dairy foods. Recently, it was reported that the evidence linking saturated fat intake to heart disease is lacking (Siri-Tarino et al., 2010).

Furthermore, today saturated fat from butter is believed to be not as bad as trans fat filled hydrogenated vegetable fats such as margarine and other so-called ‘healthy’ spreads. Those still wishing to reduce their fat intake can consume low-fat dairy foods and receive the nutritional benefits of dairy foods without the high fat (Berner, 1992; Miller, 2000).

Myth: If you take calcium supplements you don’t need milk.

Fact: Milk isn’t only a good source of calcium but it also provides other high-quality nutrients such as high-quality protein, vitamins A, D, B12, riboflavin; zinc; potassium and magnesium. Taking supplements does not provide the enjoyment of drinking a cold glass of milk; eating a creamy delicious bowl of ice cream on a hot summer day.

Myth: Milk causes mucus.

Fact: After drinking whole milk or eating ice cream some people mistake the thin coat or residue in their mouth and throat for mucus.

This is the normal creamy texture of milk fat which melts near body temperature and not excess mucus. A study conducted by Pinnock and coworkers (1990) reported that there is no association between milk and dairy products intake and mucus production in healthy as well as rhinovirus infected individuals.

Myth: Humans are not designed to drink cow’s milk.

Fact: Humans are designed to eat plant as well as animal products such as meat and dairy products. Domestication of cattle (and consumption of milk and dairy foods) date back to 6000 BC.

We are equipped with the lactose enzyme in our gut that aids in the digestion of cow’s milk. Consequently, humans have enjoyed consuming dairy foods over many, many centuries.

If we were restricted to consuming milk only from our own species, we would not enjoy many of the dairy foods we enjoy today; such as ice creams, Butter milk, flavored milk etc.

Myth: Drinking milk can cause kidney stones.

Fact: Milk may actually protect against the formation of kidney stones (NHS, 1990). It was suggested that the calcium in milk may bind to oxalates in food so that they can no longer be absorbed by the body, reducing the risk of kidney stones.

Myth: Antibiotics given to dairy cows are found in milk.

When antibiotics are given to a cow, her milk is diverted from the rest of the milk produced on the dairy farm until it tests free of antibiotics. Learn more.