Nutrition symposium a success!

2016The following in an extract from the Farmers’ Voice by  Ramatoulaye Coulibaly,  Dairy Farmers of Canada.

The week of November 7, Dairy Farmers of Canada was pleased to host the sixteenth  annual Symposium on Nutrition and Health. The Symposium aims to provide health professionals with presentations from top researchers on the latest research and best available evidence regarding the role of milk products in a healthy diet.

Presenting to full houses across Canada – in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Moncton – this year’s four speakers provided insights to help dietitians and other health professionals answer Canadians’ questions about popular eating trends such as Paleo and Gluten-Free diets and other “dietary patterns” such as the DASH diet and the role of dairy products in healthy eating patterns. Over 1,000 people joined the webcast of the Toronto and Montreal Symposia, for a total reach of over 2,000 people.

What is the DASH diet and what does the research say?

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is recognized as a pattern of healthy eating that can effectively lower elevated blood pressure as well as reduce the risk of developing hypertension as indicated in several strong studies, including systematic reviews and meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials.The DASH diet is a dietary pattern that is similar to Canada’s Food Guide, with a greater emphasis placed on vegetables, fruit and milk products.

For more on the evidence regarding the DASH diet:

What the experts had to say at the Symposium

Expert Jennifer Sygo from Cleveland Clinic Canada did not mince words about the claims of so-called superfoods: ‘‘they’re baseless; not evidence-based.’’ Her presentation addressed the Paleo diet, among others, explaining that Paleo, for example, might be good for some people, but not for everyone.

Dr. Nathalie Bergeron from Touro University in California took the stage to discuss the DASH diet as a model of healthy eating revealing that “the higher fat DASH Diet, with regular fat dairy products, is an effective alternative to the standard DASH diet.”

Dr. Andrew Samis of Queen’s University and Jean-Philippe Drouin-Chartier, PhD candidate at l’Université Laval both said it is time to reevaluate public health recommendations with respect to high fat dairy products and cardiometabolic diseases. Dr. Sami’s presentation challenged ideas about dietary fat. Fat is often portrayed as a villain or a demon and it confuses patients as “dairy products, including those that are higher in fat, are an important part of a healthy balanced diet,” he said. To corroborate, Drouin-Chartier concluded that “substantial evidence supports the inclusion of dairy products as part of a healthy diet.”

The Symposium proved successful and worth attending for many dietitians and other health professionals. You can learn more about the symposium and you can view the archived webinar at

Isabelle Neiderer, RD, Director of Nutrition, Dairy Farmers of Canada


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