21 May TV Dietician Says "Drink More Dairy!"
Yet another news story has appeared on Australian TV, telling us we need to drink more milk and that plant milks are dangerous!
Apparently Australians are buying more and more plant based milks, which has prompted a call from 'experts' to drink more cow's milk. I wonder which experts are saying this? Could it be experts from the industry funded lobby group known as the Dieticians Association of Australia?
Dietician Tania Ferraretto, a spokesperson for the DAA appeared on Today Tonight to espouse both the dangers of plant based milks and the benefits of cow's milk.
The story starts off with a couple of attempts to paint plant based milk drinkers as annoying and stupid "latte loving hipsters". Just another trick to get us to think negatively about plant based milks.
The first (and in my opinion most ridiculous) claim is that labelling plant based milks using the word 'milk' is very misleading! Are they trying to insult their own customers by implying that milk drinkers can't figure out that soy milk comes from soy rather than from cows?! I seriously doubt that anyone has ever bought almond milk thinking it came from a cow.
Next we get to the crux of the story, you guessed it... osteoporosis! This entire story appears to be a mere scare campaign from the dairy industry in conjunction with the DAA. Every time there's a story about milk (or an advertisement for that matter) they just constantly drum into us that we need to get a ton of calcium every day and that the best place to get it is cow's milk. If you don't drink heaps of milk then your bones will crumble!
Let's look at a couple of studies that Tania Ferreretto obviously hasn't seen, I'm sure if she had then she'd change her tune, wouldn't she?
First of all there's this study of buddhist nuns. They compared a group of nuns who had been vegan for 33 years on average with a group who ate a normal diet. The vegan group consumed significantly less calcium, yet despite this the study concluded that "although vegans have much lower intakes of dietary calcium and protein than omnivores, veganism does not have adverse effect on bone mineral density and does not alter body composition."
Then there's this one which pooled the data from many different studies, including some with industry bias. They concluded that "our analyses indicate that dietary calcium intake is not associated with risk of fracture, and there is no evidence currently that increasing dietary calcium intake prevents fractures... Collectively, these results suggest that clinicians, advocacy organisations, and health policymakers should not recommend increasing calcium intake for fracture prevention, either with calcium supplements or through dietary sources.
Just to reemphasise the point from the conclusion of that huge, thorough study - health policymakers should not recommend increasing calcium intake. Hopefully Tania Ferraretto and her mates at the DAA will read this blog post and set about reevaluating their position on dairy!
Tania Ferraretto went on to claim that plant milks are basically the same as drinking water, as though that's some kind of negative. Water is the best thing humans can drink for so many different reason, if my milk was almost as healthy then I'd say that's a pretty big positive!
We as a nation are already drinking huge quantities of milk and have done so for many decades, yet our rates of osteoporosis only continue to climb. My guess is that if cow's milk was going to solve the problem then it would have already!
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