Common Questions About Dairy Foods

Common Questions About Dairy Foods

Information provided by the American Dairy Council

Today, we are addressing questions that patients may ask about dairy foods. These days, it is so easy for patients and consumers to seek out nutrition information from online sources. Credible or not, online information may raise critical questions about certain nutrition topics which may affect diet or increase the risk for certain medial conditions.

1.   Is the fat in dairy products good for me?
Milkfat is a source of energy and essential fatty acids and helps deliver fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Though milk’s saturated fat content has been perceived to be unhealthy, emerging research shows that saturated fat is not associated with all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke and type 2 diabetes. In fact, a 16-year prospective study among 1,500 Australian adults found that higher intake of full-fat dairy foods was associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease mortality than a lower intake of dairy foods.

2.   What is the difference between cow’s milk and milk substitutes (i.e., soy milk, almond milk)?
We are faced with many different beverage options in the dairy aisle. To find out which milk has the most nutrients per serving, check out the nutrition facts label. There you can find out which product has the most naturally occurring nutrients, including protein and calcium. If you are curious about the ingredients of any product, check out the ingredient list on the back of the package. Some ingredients may require a quick Google search. Use this table to quickly see the difference between cow’s milk and milk substitutes.

3.   Can dairy foods help me lose weight?
Recent research suggests that high-protein diets may help achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Dairy foods are a good source of high-quality proteins and can fit into weight management plans. High protein diets can also increase satiety and build healthy muscles during exercise. In particular, whey protein, found in dairy foods, is a rich source of leucine, an amino acid that has beneficial effects on body weight and composition.

What questions are your patients asking you about dairy products? Submit them to Danielle Sovinski ( and she will provide you with research-based answers and resources to fit your needs!