Is a calcium supplement a good alternative to drinking milk?
Milk provides a variety of essential nutrients such as protein, vitamin B2 and B12 and minerals including calcium, phosphorus, potassium and iodine. Therefore, milk naturally contains much more than calcium. Calcium supplements may be seen as an addition to the amount of calcium that is obtained from food, but not as an adequate replacement of a healthy and varied diet.
Calcium and the absorption of iron
Long-term studies have shown that calcium has no or just a limited effect on the absorption of iron in the body. A diet with a wide variety of food products probably contains dietary factors that promote as well inhibit the iron absorption.
The acid balance of the body
In a number of scientific studies done fifteen years ago it was stated that an increased protein intake would adversely affect bone health as a result of an increased calcium content in the urine and a reduced calcium supply in the bones. New scientific findings do not endorse this effect.
Does dairy have an effect on the health of heart and blood vessels?
Health authorities advises to consume skimmed or semi-skimmed milk and dairy products, because of the energy and saturated fat content. Recent scientific research shows that the relationship between milk and heart and blood vessels seems to be more complex than previously assumed.
Milk and weight management
Physical activity and a healthy and varied diet are important in maintaining a healthy weight. People who eat and drink more than the energy they expend will gain weight, no matter what they eat or drink. Some people believe that dairy foods like, milk, yoghurt and cheese are fattening. However science does not support this.
A more sustainable food pattern: what does that look like?
Due to a growing world population and increasing prosperity, the demand for good nutrition that provides an optimal intake of nutrients with a low impact on the environment is growing (1). The science behind food sustainability is a developing area and it is important to consider both the nutritional and environmental impact of dietary advice.
Sustainable as well as healthy food
Due to a growing world population and increasing prosperity, the demand for good nutrition that provides an optimal intake of nutrients is growing. This affects the environmental impact. Feeding the growing world population in a responsible way requires sustainable and healthy nutrition, or in other words, a sustainable diet. Being a staple food product, milk fits in well with a healthy and sustainable diet.
Biomarkers of dairy fat consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes
Fat-reduced dairy products are usually recommended over whole-fat dairy products, because they contain less calories and saturated fat. However, clinical trials do not consistently show an improvement of cardiometabolic risk factors when comparing low fat dairy consumption to whole-fat or overall dairy consumption. Similarly, the possible effects of dairy fat consumption on the risk of type 2 diabetes are not well established.
Dietary patterns in relation to fracture risk and low bone mineral density
Osteoporosis is characterized by a low bone mineral density and compromised bone strength. Many factors contribute to low bone mineral density and osteoporosis such as gender, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol consumption, loss of estrogen and nutritional factors mainly related to adequate intakes of calcium and vitamin D.
Choosing nutrient-rich over nutrient-poor foods for better diet quality
The general principle of nutrient density is the concentration of nutrients per amount of food or caloric contribution of that food. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) defined nutrient-dense foods as those that “provide vitamins, minerals, and other substances that contribute to adequate nutrient intakes or may have positive health effects, with little or no solid fats and added sugars, refined starches, and sodium.”