If you are like everyone else, you are probably confused about all the conflicting information out there about dairy products. Dairy causes weight gain, one study shows, while other study shows that dairy can help you lose weight. Some studies show that diary is an extremely beneficial food, while others suggest that eating diary as an adult is detrimental to your health. So, who to believe?

It is possible to obtain different study results by changing up some of the factors of the study. If you notice, most of the studies that are anti-dairy are often funded by vegetarians and other animal rights activists. Does this mean that all of the information in their studies is false? Of course not, but like any studies, they should be compared with other studies conduced by groups with other interests or a non-biased study to ensure that you are receiving the real information and facts about dairy.

Here are some of the common myths about dairy and the facts about each myth.

Less Dairy Equals Less Weight

For years, it was believed that consuming dairy products led to weight gain. Why? Because dairy is high in fat. High fat was thought to increase the body fat of the consumer. However, studies by the US Department of Agriculture, the National Medical Association, and other organizations have shown that this is not true. In fact, individuals who consumed full-fat dairy products in combination with regulating the intake of the rest of their diets, saw a reduction in weight. This is thought to occur because the dieters were replacing empty calories with the rich, nourishing ingredients found in diary products. Fats are slow-burning foods, and can help you feel full longer, leading to an overall reduction in the foods you eat.

Low Fat Dairy is better than High Fat Dairy

When science first started to study foods, it was believed that the less fat in your diet the better. Recent studies have counteracted and challenged this long-held believe. For the most part, when fat is removed, sugar is added to replace the loss of flavor. This increases a person’s average consumption of sugar by a significant amount. Sugar leads to weight gain much faster than fat, because sugar is a quick-burning food. The more quick-burning foods you eat, the more your body holds onto slow-burning foods as fat. Just take a look at the sugar content of full fat vs. low fat milk. Per serving, low-fat dairy has a significantly higher sugar content.

Lactose Intolerant People Should Avoid All Dairy

If you are lactose intolerant, you may feel like you have to avoid all dairy products, but that is not the case. Typically, when you are lactose intolerant, you lack the enzyme necessary to break down lactose in the body. However, certain forms of dairy have already made lactose digestible. Yogurt and cheese, for example, have naturally low amounts of lactose and can provide many of the benefits of dairy, like increased calcium, and vitamin activation.

Soy and Other Milk Alternatives are Better than Dairy

Some people claim that drinking soy, almond, or rice milk is better than drinking dairy, because these milks come from vegetables. However, these milk alternatives are much higher in sugar, and also lack the other vitamins that milk contain, such as B vitamins, vitamin D, DHA, and vitamin A.

So before you swear off all dairy, consider the above benefits of maintaining a healthy amount of dairy in your diet. Making sure you get all the nutrients you need can largely contribute to your improved wellbeing and health, not to mention private health insurance or other health costs.