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  • Claire Grainger

Is cow's milk bad for you? The facts

Milk alternatives were in the headlines recently as a rising number of us are drinking more planted based milks compared to cow’s milk. It was even suggested that cow's milk is bad for us. The Activate Fitness resident nutritionist, Grace Taylor gives us the facts.

The use of milk alternatives is not a surprise. But as the trend grows for more recipe creators to include them in their recipes, the potential for misinformation about dairy is increased (and backed up by inaccurate documentaries).

The truth is - unless you are intolerant or allergic cows milk is perfectly healthy. It is rich in protein and naturally provides calcium, vitamin D (in small amounts), vitamin B12 as well as iodine. This is important for your thyroid and metabolism and for pregnant ladies and breastfeeding mums.

Milk alternatives are often lower in calories and protein compared to cow’s milk and some are not fortified. Whilst this may seem like a tempting alternative, it’s important to remember our children and teenagers need the calories and protein for growth as well as the vitamins and minerals.

Overall, a varied and balanced diet is key for health. There’s often no need to cut out dairy milk but if you do like milk alternatives choose unsweetened and fortified varieties ( look for calcium, vitamin D, B12 and iodine) to reduce risk of osteoporosis later in life.

Also include other dairy sources in moderation such as yoghurt/cheese, as well as fish to prevent an iodine deficiency.

About Grace: Grace studied a degree in Public Health Nutrition at Leeds Beckett University and is registered as an Associate Nutritionist. Becoming a registrant with the ‘Association for Nutrition’ reflects the high-quality training she has undertaken in food, nutrition and working with the public. It also ensures the service you receive is of a high quality and is from a nutrition professional. For the past two years, Grace has worked as the Nutrition Development Officer for the Active Lifestyles team delivering their community weight management sessions across the Sefton borough.

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