Dairy Health Benefits

Digestive Health

An increasing number of Australians report experiencing digestive problems such as bloating, abdominal pain , diarrhea and /or flatulence. These symptoms may be due to a number of factors including stress, medication, inadequate exercise and food intolerances. However, people often limit or exclude dairy foods in a quest for symptom relief without consulting a health professional. With nine out of ten Australians not meeting the recommended daily intake from the milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives food group, and over 50 per cent not getting enough calcium in their diets, people are potentially missing out on the important nutrients and health benefits of dairy foods.

21-day milk drinking intervention

Recent independent research suggests that people who have cut out dairy foods from their diet due to digestive problems can try a 21-day milk-drinking intervention. This involves starting with half a cup of milk with a meal twice a day in week one, stepping this up to two-thirds of a cup in week two and then one cup during week three. People who complete the 21-day milk-drinking intervention see an improvement in symptoms and go on to enjoy milk and other dairy foods such as cheese and yoghurt as part of their everyday meals and snacks.
Read more in our fact sheet.

Do dairy differently

Even for those limiting their intake of dairy foods due to digestive problems, there are ways to ‘do dairy differently’. This may include spreading your intake of dairy over the day, having dairy foods with meals or having smaller amounts of dairy at a time, gradually building up your tolerance.
Read more in our fact sheet.

Diagnosed lactose intolerance

Those diagnosed with lactose intolerance can also still enjoy the health benefits of dairy foods. The Australian Dietary Guidelines suggest that up to 250ml of milk may be well tolerated if broken up throughout the day and consumed with other foods. Hard cheeses contain virtually no lactose and yoghurt contains good bacteria, which helps to digest lactose. Lactose-free milks are also a great alternative as they contain similar nutrients to regular milk.
Read more in our Lactose Intolerance fact sheet.

For an easier to digest version of the information above, check out this neat infographic.

If you would like more information on digestive health visit www.gutfoundation.com.au.

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