Let’s Dispel the Myth That Eating Animal Protein Causes Osteoporosis

Posted by Gregory Miller, PhD, FACN @ 7:03 AM


We all know the drill. Researchers propose hypotheses, then test them scientifically to determine their validity. If the hypothesis does not stand up to rigorous scientific scrutiny, we expect the original hypothesis to die and never to be mentioned again. Right?  Unfortunately, this rarely happens. Often belief trumps science and the hypothesis becomes accepted as fact by the public and many in the scientific community, even when it’s not true. This appears to be the case for the acid load hypothesis of osteoporosis or that animal proteins are bad for bones.  However, a review of the evidence by a respected bone expert dispels this hypothesis as a myth.

Hypothesis: The nutritional acid load impact on osteoporosis

This hypothesis suggests that foods associated with an increased urinary acid excretion, such as animal proteins from meat and dairy foods (milk, cheese, and yogurt), are harmful to the skeleton, leading to osteoporosis and an increased risk of fragility fracture. Conversely, foods producing neutral or alkaline urine would favor bone growth and calcium balance, helping to slow bone loss and reduce fracture risk.


As pointed out in a recent review available in full text, this theory currently influences nutrition research, dietary recommendations and the marketing of alkaline salt products or medications aimed at optimizing bone health and preventing osteoporosis. It originally stemmed from classic investigations in patients suffering from chronic kidney diseases (CKD) conducted in the 1960s.

Hypothesis not proven: Review dispels theoretical link Read the rest of this entry »

Introducing Fuel Up to Play 60 en Español

Posted by Nancy Sandbach @ 9:25 AM

Nancy Sandbach

Hello! As a new contributor to the Dairy Report, I am delighted and excited to share that the Fuel Up to Play 60 program received a generous grant from the PepsiCo Foundation. The announcement was made on July 16th at the GENYOUth Foundation’s 2014 Nutrition + Physical Activity Learning Connection Summit at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. The $550,000 grant will support Fuel Up to Play 60 en Español, which is being developed specifically to address the needs of Latino students and their families, a population in which the prevalence of overweight, obesity[1] and food insecurity[2] is especially high in the U.S.  Read the rest of this entry »

Navigating the Aging Process Healthfully (Part 2)

Posted by Karen Kafer, RD @ 7:56 AM


Welcome to part two of Navigating the Aging Process Healthfully. In part one Christine Cliff, MPH, RDN, LDN highlighted the key discussion points and strategies from National Dairy Council’s Healthy Aging: Dairy Foods Can Help… Whether You Have Lactose Intolerance or Not! webinar to help your clients and family members age healthfully. This second part will focus on tips and strategies for those with lactose intolerance, which was discussed during the webinar by Dr. Mark DeLegge, a gastroenterologist, and Susan Kundrat, a registered dietitian and certified specialist in sports dietetics.

As we age, Dr. Mark indicated that higher  amounts of nutrients like calcium, vitamin D and protein are needed.  The dairy food group (i.e., low-fat and fat-free milk, cheese and yogurt) provides calcium, vitamin D and high quality protein and can help address these increased nutrient needs.

CreamyCarrotSoup_289x194One question you may have asked yourself is “What if someone is lactose intolerant?” Great news! Dr. Mark assured that lactose intolerance does not mean dairy avoidance. He stated that people who avoid dairy foods due to real or perceived lactose intolerance may miss many benefits including improved nutrient intake and improved bone health. Research shows most people with lactose malabsorption can digest up to 12 grams of lactose, which is equivalent to the amount in an 8 oz. glass of milk, with no or minor symptoms. Susan offered several practical strategies those with lactose intolerance can try so they can enjoy the nutrient and health benefits of dairy foods. Below are five solutions you can suggest to those with lactose intolerance.* Read the rest of this entry »

Healthy Students are Better Students: Both Kids and Science Agree

Posted by Kristin Schrieber @ 6:14 AM

Kristin Schrieber

“When I grow up I want to be a pilot and fly people all over the world.”

I sat awe-inspired at the GENYOUth  Nutrition + Physical Activity Learning Connection Summit, co-hosted by National Dairy Council, as I listened to Tyler, a 5th grader with dyslexia, speak about how he agrees with the learning connection and believes that the Fuel Up to Play 60 program will help him reach his goal.

“Being active helps my brain focus better,” he said. “If I was not able to have brain breaks with physical activity every day I don’t know if I could be here right now.”

Tyler FUTP60

Not only do kids agree with the learning connection, but science helps support it too!   Read the rest of this entry »

Making a Difference for Students at School: Child Nutrition Professionals from Across the Nation Join in Boston

Posted by Jill Read @ 7:46 AM


This summer, 6,500 school nutrition professionals gathered in Boston, Mass., for School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) Annual National Conference, and the event left the crowd energized for the upcoming school year.

New England Dairy & Food Council and School Nutrition Association of Massachusetts (SNA of MA) were thrilled to have ANC in their home state and joined together with National Dairy Council (NDC) and others to help highlight the important role school meals play in the health and well-being of school children across the nation.

The ANC theme, “Making History in Boston,” was relevant in more ways than one. Not only does Boston have a rich cultural history, it has been a leader in child nutrition and education for decades. For example, did you know that Boston was home to America’s first public schools and first school lunch program?   Read the rest of this entry »

Navigating the Aging Process Healthfully (Part 1)

Posted by Christine Cliff @ 7:07 AM


It’s inevitable… we will all get older. The question is — how well do we want to age?  Some may choose to continue down the path of eating richly and remaining sedentary. Others may choose to blaze healthier paths — eating nutritiously and getting active. This topic is dear to me given that my parents are aging and grandparents’ health is declining. Being a health professional and natural worrier, I am concerned my loved ones may develop osteoporosis, fall and break a hip or even lose the desire to eat. All of these are valid concerns, since, according to our webinar experts, the aging population may be at a higher risk of these conditions.

Dr. Mark DeLegge, a gastroenterologist, and Susan Kundrat, a registered dietitian and certified specialist in sports dietetics, teamed up  on a recent National Dairy Council ® webinar- “Healthy Aging: Dairy Foods Can Help… Whether You Have Lactose Intolerance or Not!,” which helped to address my concerns and provided me feasible and effective solutions. This blog post highlights key discussion points and strategies from the webinar you can use to help your clients and family members age healthfully.  Read the rest of this entry »

Help Families Fill Nutrition and Reading Gaps This Summer

Posted by Judith Jarvis, MS, RD @ 11:47 AM


School’s out, kids are home for the summer, and a parent’s routines have completely changed and they may need your help to navigate the new schedules. They have gone from packing school lunches to making meals and snacks for their kids between trips to the beach or pool, sports events, swimming lessons, or playing with friends in the backyard. Well-chosen snacks are a great way to help fill nutrition gaps, and help kids meet their energy needs.  But many kids also experience a reading gap in the summer. By choosing the right books, you can help families simultaneously fill nutrition and reading gaps during the summer break – and have fun doing it.

TDR.little.girl.yogurtWhile we know as health and wellness professionals that it’s important to nourish the body, it’s equally as important to nourish the mind, especially since a new survey found that children spend nearly three times as many hours weekly watching TV or playing video games as they do reading in the summer. It’s important to remember that nutrition, physical activity, and learning go hand-in-hand all year long.

So encourage families and children to curl up with a good book this summer – one that delights, nourishes the mind, and encourages adventures in the kitchen and garden.  Here are a few resources that may be of interest to you: Read the rest of this entry »

Cardiovascular Disease: Where Do Milk and Dairy Foods Stand?

Posted by Moises Torres-Gonzalez @ 1:54 PM


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) comprises a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels such as coronary heart disease (CHD), cerebrovascular disease, peripheral arterial disease, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease, heart attacks and strokes, among others. Despite enormous advances made in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of CVD, it still remains the leading cause of death in the US and Worldwide. Globally, CVD is responsible for 17 million deaths.

Some of the risk factors for CVD — such as overweight, high blood pressure and elevated blood cholesterol — are modifiable risk factors that can be influenced by diet and lifestyle. Thus, following a healthy diet and increasing physical activity are two of the most recommended actions aimed to reduce the risk of CVD.

TDR_CardiovascularDiseaseRegarding diet, some people search for health-promoting food options and may overlook some healthful choices, like dairy foods, that are readily available in a wide range of options, including low-fat and fat-free.

Although milk and dairy foods are often perceived to be associated with increased CVD risk because of their saturated fat content, there is moderate evidence that dairy foods may help to reduce the risk of CVD, as indicated in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines.    Read the rest of this entry »

Refuel With Chocolate Milk

Posted by Gregory Miller, PhD, FACN @ 12:44 PM


Since summer is the perfect time to cool down with an ice-cold glass of chocolate milk, I thought I would share some of the reasons I love drinking it.

Both of my boys are big chocolate milk drinkers. As they got older they kind of lost the taste for white milk, so we gave them chocolate to keep them drinking milk. As a result, today as young adults (23 and 19), they drink milk and water or 100 percent fruit juices and very little soda. The fact that they still drink milk is a big nutritional plus for them.

I especially like drinking chocolate milk after working out or running. After Chocolate Milkweight lifting, usually with my son, I add some whey protein to it. I know I need more protein than my son to stimulate muscle synthesis after my workout. (Yang, 2012;Wittard, 2013)

Read the rest of this entry »

See How Two Proteins Naturally Found in Milk May Aid Blood Pressure Control

Posted by Gregory Miller, PhD, FACN @ 10:34 AM


With one in three Americans having hypertension and nearly 30 percent of adults having prehypertension, you most likely counsel clients frequently about dietary and lifestyle changes to help reduce blood pressure. When discussing dietary advice with people, we know it’s important to keep in mind that “People eat food, not nutrients,” so often a whole foods approach works best. But as professionals, we want to know how foods work to maintain health. We want to know the mechanisms behind the beneficial effects nutrient-rich foods have on health outcomes – in intricate detail. Blood pressure is no exception. New research into the how of blood pressure control published this spring in the American Journal of Hypertension reveals a potentially unique role for proteins naturally found in milk. Read the rest of this entry »