As a nutritionist and soon to be dietitian, I don't believe that milk is “bad” for us like it has been portrayed by some health professionals. In terms of nutrients, milk, including other dairy products such as yoghurt contains the most bioavailable source of calcium and is packed with vitamins and minerals (phosporous, magnesium, potassium, zinc, riboflavin, vitamin A and B12, protein and carbohydrate making it an ideal food group and should be consumed everyday. The dietary guidelines for Australians recommend 2-3 serves of dairy each day.
Yes some people are lactose intolerant and cannot consume normal milk so lactose free dairy milks can provide the calcium and nutrients needed for good health. We all know that calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth and to protect against osteoporsis later in life. Some people may also be allergic to cow's milk (generally only as a child) but may progress into adulthood so alternatives such as soy, rice, almond, and oat milk can be a good alternative (provided they are fortified with calcium). In regards to the comment earlier that milk causes mucus, numerous studies have disproven this myth (see here: http://www.dairyaustralia.com.au/Health-and-nutrition/Dairy-and-Health/Dairy-Myths.aspx#Mucas).
I would strongly recommend that people consult an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) on nutrition related topics such as they are the “experts” in all things food and nutrition. In particular those who have lactose intolerance, or some sort of allergy to dairy proteins. APDs are able to turn the science into practical advice that the general public can understand and can also help to dispell many myths surrounding nutrition. APDs can also help you to modify your diet without sacrificing important nutrients. To find an APD head to the Dietitians Association of Australia's website (www.daa.asn.au) and click on the “Find an Accredited Practising Dietitian” tab on the home page.
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