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What is Milk, Anyway?

by Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD on Apr 17, 2017

Food for Thought

Plant‐based milks such as almond milk, soymilk, coconut milk, hemp milk and others seem to have wounded the pride of traditional milk providers.

In January, a bill called the Dairy Pride Act was introduced in Congress. If passed, it would compel the Food and Drug Administration to enforce an existing guideline that limits use of the word "milk" to the products of hooved mammals like cows, sheep and goats.

Naturally, traditional milk producers want us to drink more cow's milk, sales of which have declined amid rising demand for plant‐based competitors. The dairy industry has at least one valid concern aside from the slide in market share—consumers might think all milks have similar nutritional value. Most do not, as the table in the sidebar below shows.


IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 14, Issue 5

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About the Author

Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD

Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD IDEA Author/Presenter

Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD is a board-certified pediatrician, registered dietitian, and ACE Health Coach. She is committed to providing evidence-based nutrition and fitness information to health professionals and consumers alike in a way that is logical, practical and directly applicable to readers’ lives. She has authored over 100 publications and book chapters, all which are based on the latest scientific evidence and presented in a manner that is easy-to-understand and apply. She is Director of Healthcare Solutions for the American Council on Exercise (ACE) having written the nutrition chapters for each of ACE’s textbooks, the ACE Fitness Nutrition Manual and Specialty Certification, and recorded several Webinars and online courses. Furthermore, as a spokesperson for ACE, the largest fitness certifying and advocacy organization in the country, she informs broadcast and print media outlets throughout the U.S. on pertinent nutrition and fitness issues. She is author '"Eat Your Vegetables!" and other mistakes parents make: Redefining How to Raise Healthy Eaters'. She presented a similar topic at IDEA World 2009; the video is available for purchase through IDEA. Certifications: ACE, ACSM and NSCA