Milk and dairy deserve a place in a sustainable diet and should be consumed more often than currently, health experts say.
New dietary guidelines in Belgium endorses milk as a vital part of daily diets, and plant-based drinks are not equivalent alternatives.
The Superior Health Council (SHC), set up by the Belgian government, recently confirmed that milk and dairy products deserve a place in a sustainable diet.
Moreover, based on the latest insights into healthy food and sustainability, the SHC recommends an increase in the consumption of milk and dairy products.
In a new recommendation, it advises the consumption of between 250ml and 500ml of milk and milk products per day.
Too low milk consumption is identified as a risk factor for nutrition-related health problems.
The report refers to the Gezondheidsraad (Health Council of the Netherlands) which states that the consumption of dairy is associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer and the consumption of yogurt with a low risk of diabetes.
The International Dairy Federation (IDF) welcomed the new guidelines, saying they are 'encouraging'.
“According to the most recent available data, the average Belgian consumes an average of 177 grams of milk and dairy products per day,” IDF National Committee President for Belgium Renaat Debergh said.
“In other words, the recommendations of the Superior Health Council can equate to doubling current consumption.”
It comes as a leading nutritionist highlighted the positive health benefits of consuming red meat, and how it should be more widely-known in order to ensure an informed public debate.
These include helping people to reach optimal intakes of iron and zinc, and acting as a natural source of high-quality protein.