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Milk: It Does a Health Care System Good

Analysis Suggests Billions in Savings If Americans Eat More Dairy

Is Low Fat Better? continued...

Tufts University nutritionist Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, strongly disagrees. While she says milk and other dairy foods are excellent sources of protein, calcium, and other vitamins and minerals, she also says people should chose low-fat or non-fat varieties.

"If the implication is that higher-fat dairy products are a reasonable choice and that there is no reason to choose lower-fat products over higher-fat ones, I would be concerned about that," she tells WebMD.

Lichtenstein says low-fat and nonfat dairy products are a big part of her diet, but she says the dairy industry is overstating the science regarding their health benefits. She cites a recent industry ad showing a glass of milk with an hourglass figure, designed to promote the beverage's role as a weight-loss aid. Lichtenstein is director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at Tufts.

"Milk has so much going for it," she says. "It is an excellent source of many types of nutrients. I just worry that the (dairy industry) may be pushing the claims too far."

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