Did you know these dairy facts?

Dairy is consumed in many forms, including cheese, milk, yogurt, butter, and ice cream. The debate rages on regarding the nutritional value of dairy.

As with most foods, there are pros and cons to dairy consumption. Dairy is a convenient way for many people to get the calcium, vitamin D and protein necessary to keep their bones, muscles and heart functioning properly, says nutrition research scientists with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

A study examining 2,000 men published by the British Journal of Nutrition found that those who ate fermented dairy products like yogurt and cheese had a smaller risk of coronary artery disease than those who ate less. Still, there are some concerns about dairy.

A 2017 study funded by the National Cancer Institute that compared the diets of women diagnosed with breast cancer to those without breast cancer found that those who consumed the most American, cheddar and cream cheeses had a 53 per cent higher risk for breast cancer. Regular consumption of dairy products also may be linked to prostate cancer. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine reports milk and other dairy products are the top sources of saturated fat in the American diet, which can contribute to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

Low-fat milk can reduce some of the risks of dairy consumption. Moderate consumption also may reduce any risks associated with dairy consumption.

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