Have you noticed that every time you eat cheese, ice cream, or other forms of dairy you experience abdominal pain, gas, or bloating? If so, you may have lactose intolerance, or an inability to properly digest dairy products, says Karen Kafer, RDN, a representative with the National Dairy Council.
But being lactose intolerant doesn’t mean you must forgo dairy at every meal. According to Kafer, the body produces an enzyme called lactase to help digest the lactose in milk. As we age, the body sometimes produces less lactase than it did from childhood, making it hard to break down dairy. However, many people with lactose intolerance can still tolerate at least 12 grams of lactose (equivalent to 1 cup of low-fat and fat-free milk or yogurt) in one sitting, with little to no discomfort. So, being diagnosed with the condition simply means that you may need to moderate your intake.
Lactose intolerant consumers can still enjoy milk and limited dairy consumption, regardless of what they may have thought in the past. This is the takeaway from the live webinar this afternoon sponsored by the National Dairy Council, hosted by Jennifer Goodrich, senior analyst at the Hartman Group and Robin Plotkin, registered dietician and nutrition communications consultant. The one-hour session discussed lactose intolerance perceptions from the public and ways to bridge the communications gap between patients and health professionals.
The National Dairy Council contends that even with a diagnosis of lactose intolerance, up to 12 grams of lactose may still be comfortably consumed in a day without triggering gastrointestinal distress. Twelve grams doesn’t sound like much, but it’s actually the combined equivalent of one-half cup ice cream, half cup Greek yogurt, half cup cottage cheese, and an ounce of hard cheese.
The confusion surrounding lactose intolerance was the focal point of the discussion. According to a study conducted by the Hartman Group in 2012, consumers were not only self-diagnosing their condition, they were also stymied by milk substitution choices. “Dairy sensitive consumers don’t want to be full time detectives,” explained analyst Jennifer Goodrich. “They want it to work for their stomach, taste good, be relatively low in calories, low cost and have some nutritional benefit.” (more…)
If you’re like us, you’ve started to think more seriously about your diet than ever. And not just for weight loss purposes, but for the sake of optimum health and pinpointing which foods may be doing more harm than good.
My primary cause for concern is dairy as I was lactose intolerant growing up. Despite seemingly “outgrowing” my intolerance as an adult, I still notice that dairy can make me feel poor from time to time.
Lucky for me the National Dairy Council (NDC) is perking its ears to the cries of people like me and thousands of others who face similar intolerances. The good news is, these diet discrepancies don’t necessarily mean you have to give up dairy. It just means you have to learn which products may work best for you.
To spread the word about National Lactose Intolerance (LI) Month, the NDC held a Twitter party in late February to equip the LI population with helpful tools and resources to better manage their dietary needs. The council sought to inform the public of the important nutrients dairy can provide in our diets, as well as the many dairy products that those with LI can still consume. (more…)
In these tumultuous times while most of our country has its eyes on the upcoming election, some health advocates are turning their eyes in another direction: On school lunches.
The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) – a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. – advocates for vegan diets and is out to bring dairy down, and hard. And where are they aiming their message? At kids, naturally, because they want to abolish milk from the school lunch programs for good. And in place of diary, they want to see other calcium sources on kids’ plates like beans, sweet potatoes and figs.
This isn’t an entirely unreasonable request, however, not everyone’s buying what they’re trying to sell. And perhaps it’s because of the group’s tendency to use harsh, unconventional methods for advocating in the past.
An example of PCRM’s radical ways? Just earlier this year the group placed some controversial billboards in Albany, New York, with images of overweight people grabbing their fat, and blamed dairy as the reason for their weight.
The signs said things like “Your Thighs on Cheese,” and “Your Abs on Cheese,” in an attempt to send the message that dairy is the reason Americans are fat. This, they say, is because of the saturated fat milk contains. (more…)
It’s not just adults who are making efforts to be healthy in the new year. Schools and kids all across the country are also eating and moving their way to a healthier 2011.
The Fuel Up to Play 60 is a nationwide program that has been encouraging kids and classrooms to healthy up their lives through an interactive challenge and contest for the past two years. Now, Fuel Up to Play 60 just announced that it’s accepting applications for 2011.
For those of you who don’t know what the program is all about, Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program. Launched by National Dairy Council and the National Football League in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the program encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Multiple health and nutrition organizations and several major corporations are also supporting the program. (more…)
Kids prefer flavored milk. It’s pretty obvious, right? When given the choice, not many kids choose regular milk over chocolate. This, no doubt, raises the concern of increased sugar in the diet of school-age kids. The National Dairy Council has recently published news that negates this concern. Studies show that kids who aren’t offered flavored milk at school simply choose not to drink milk at all.
The impact of this study is larger than it seems at first glance. Reportedly, 58 schools were included and each one exhibited dramatic drops in milk consumption when flavored milk was taken off the breakfast and lunch menus. Some schools boasted a 50 percent drop, although the average was 35 percent. It occurred to me that perhaps the kids just needed to get used to their new options. Strangely, the study didn’t see any rise in the percentage of milk-drinkers even after a year or more of partaking in the study.
If kids refuse to drink regular milk, we could always supplement their diets with other food that contains the same nutrients, right? Although this is a decent and well-thought out solution, it doesn’t really work. In trying to do this, their diet would incorporate more fat and calories, which actually increases the risk of obesity. Furthermore, it could cost up to $4,600 more a year to feed every 100 students. (more…)
What do you get when you combine the forces of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Dairy Council (NDC) and the National Football League (NFL)? A powerhouse team of knowledge, muscles and nutrition.
On September 17, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the USDA will partner with the NDC and the NFL on their new youth-led health and wellness program, Fuel Up to Play 60. The program, launching to more than 60,000 schools nationwide this fall, will empower youth to take charge of their own health by being more active and eating healthier foods as well as improve the overall health of their school environment and community.
The program is open to all children and participation is quite simple: (more…)
The week of August 10 is Healthy Back to School Week at DietsInReview.com.
Tab Forgac serves as vice president of Child Nutrition and Fitness for the National Dairy Council. Forgac is a Registered Dietitian, a Licensed Dietitian, and a School Nutrition Specialist. She has served in numerous leadership positions within the American Dietetic Association and its affiliates and helped lead the development and evolution of the School Nutrition Association Foundation.
While news of the childhood obesity crisis is not new, it continues to trouble me as a nutritionist and mother of two daughters that we have not been able to curb this epidemic that now affects more than one in three children in the United States. However, I do believe we can turn the tide on childhood obesity, and that the nation’s schools play an important role in doing so. (more…)