Men with higher intakes of dairy foods, especially milk, face a significantly higher risk of prostate cancer compared to men with lower intakes, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Loma Linda University Health. The study found no such associations between increased prostate cancer risk and intake of non-dairy calcium, suggesting substances other than calcium play a role in the risk dairy foods poses for prostate cancer.
I started drinking soymilk some years ago after reading some scare stories about cow milk consumption. I don’t even remember the reasons now, but I do look forward to my quarts of soymilk that I buy from Costco. Since starting I can’t put my finger on any negative health effects.
This extensive Medical News Todayrundown by Hannah Nichols gives a lot of useful detail on the subject.
What do government health guidelines say? According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) food MyPlate guidelines, to get all the nutrients you need from your diet, healthy food and beverage choices should be made from all five food groups, including fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy.
The dairy food group consists of all fluid milk products and many foods that are made from milk. The USDA recommend that food choices from the dairy group should retain their calcium content and be low-fat or fat-free. Fat in milk, yogurt, and cheese that is not low-fat or fat-free will count toward your limit of calories from saturated fats.
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While calcium-fortified soymilk is included as part of the dairy group, food products such as butter, cream, sour cream, and cream cheese are not included due to their low calcium content.
Daily dairy recommendations depend on your age. Children 2-3 years old require two cups of dairy per day, 4-8 year-olds need 2.5 cups per day, and three cups per day are recommended for age 9 and upward.
For people who do not consume dairy products, the USDA mention the following foods to contribute toward calcium intake: kale leaves, calcium-fortified juices, breads, cereals, rice or almond milk, canned fish, soybeans, other soy foods, such as tofu, soy yogurt, and tempeh, and some leafy greens including collard and turnip greens, kale, and bok choy.
They point out that the amount of calcium that is absorbed from these foods varies.
MyPlate vs. Healthy Eating Plate
The USDA developed the MyPlate nutrition guide in 2011 as a replacement for their MyPyramid that was used for 19 years.
The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health state that while the USDA MyPlate has been revised to reflect some key findings in nutritional scientific research, it does not offer a complete picture of basic nutrition advice.
The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health created the Healthy Eating Plate to address the deficiencies they identified in the USDA’s MyPlate.
One major alteration to the Healthy Eating Plate compared with MyPlate is the replacement of the dairy glass with a glass of water. The Healthy Eating Plate recommends drinking water, tea, or coffee and limiting dairy to one to two servings per day, since they say that high intakes are associated with a greater risk of prostate cancer and possibly ovarian cancer.
MyPlate recommends dairy with every meal to protect against osteoporosis. However, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health report that there is little to no evidence to support this statement and considerable evidence that too high an intake of dairy can be harmful.
Stroll into your local cafe and you might be surprised to find plain old milk as only one of the available beverage options to add to your coffee.
You can try soy milk, almond milk, even cashew or coconut milk.
The options are overwhelming, but are any of them actually healthier?
Here’s a quick look at the nutritional value of some of the most popular — and oftentimes far more expensive — milk alternatives.
By themselves, almonds are protein powerhouses: A typical serving of the nuts has 160 calories and 6 grams of protein. But a typical glass of almond milk, by volume, is just about 2% almonds and contains almost no protein.
So while the “milk” only has about 30 calories — good news if you’re looking to lose weight — it packs just 1 gram of…