IS YOUR MILK HEALTHY ?
If you grew up drinking milk, you might be surprised—and confused—by recent health headlines. The dairy products you consumed as a kid to build strong bones and muscles are now being called into question by some experts in the diet and nutrition community. Smart consumers and healthy eaters alike are wondering “Is milk bad for me?”
Milk is loved and enjoyed by many daily. But is milk really necessary for a complete diet? Not necessarily. Can it be healthy? Yes, but not for everyone. There are advocates both for and against including dairy in a healthy diet—and both sides wield valid arguments
WHAT IS MILK?
Milk, quite simply, is a liquid that mammals create in mammary glands to feed their young ones. The reason mammals have this is because this is what their babies are naturally supposed to consume until they are strong or old enough to hunt for food themselves or eat what their parents typically eat. Humans are the only species that drink milk from another lactating species and well past after two years of age.
Milk is such a divisive nutrition topic. While some believe that milk is a nutrient-dense complete source of nutrition, others claim it is harmful.
SOME ARGUMENTS THAT REASON MILK IS BENEFICIAL FOR CONSUMPTION
Milk Has a Good Nutrition Profile and Contains Important Nutrients. Whole milk offers a complete source of nutrition; carbohydrate, fat and protein, alongside a range of vitamins and minerals. Low-fat milk offers a similar nutrition profile except that it contains minimal fat and it is a less reliable source of fat-soluble Vitamins.
- Milk provides important vitamins and minerals including calcium, potassium, magnesium, riboflavin, vitamin D and vitamin B12.
- Milk is a good source of calcium that we can supply to our body. Calcium protects the body from major chronic ailments such as bone loss, arthritic conditions, migraine headaches, pre-menstrual syndrome, and obesity in children.
- Drinking low fat or skim milk is a diet-friendly way to boost your protein intake.
- Single-serving milk containers are inexpensive and easy to find when you need a quick snack.
SOME ARGUMENTS THAT CLAIM MILK IS HARMFUL FOR CONSUMPTION
- Dairy is highly acidic, despite it containing high amounts of calcium that acts as an alkaline agent by nature. Milk is rich in natural acids that can cause calcium deposits to build up and potentially cause arthritis and long-term inflammation. It also doesn’t necessarily keep our bones strong as we once believed. Most plant-based foods do a much better job (such as chard, kale, almonds, figs) and don’t contribute to chronic inflammation.
- Full-fat dairy products, like cheese and full-fat milk, are high in saturated fat.
- Milk can be easy to over-consume. A single portion is just eight ounces, but many milk glasses have enough room for almost twice that amount.
- It is harmful to lactose intolerant and they may experience gastrointestinal problems including inflamed gut lining, nausea, bloating, or diarrhoea after drinking milk.
- Some health experts caution against relying on dairy products for bone health. They encouraged consumers to eat or drink their calcium from non-milk sources. “While calcium and dairy can lower the risk of osteoporosis and colon cancer, high intake can increase the risk of prostate cancer and possibly ovarian cancer,” they say. They add that milk contains retinol (Vitamin A), which can weaken bones if consumed in large amounts.
- The consumption of milk was linked to an increased prevalence and severity of acne in both boys and girls.
- A single serving of milk can contain as much as 24 mg of heart-harming cholesterol.
- A different beast than lactose intolerance, milk allergies can cause potentially strong and dangerous reactions (usually in young children), such as vomiting or anaphylaxis.
- Cows are often pumped full of antibiotics to keep them alive and producing milk in filthy factory farm conditions. The milk produced in these conditions can be harmful.
- A single serving of whole milk can contain more than 20 per cent of the recommended daily allowance of saturated fat. If you consume three servings of whole milk, you’re already at 60 per cent for the day—even before eating any food.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Everybody is different and one should find the right balance. Whatever the case, the decision to go dairy-free could be a smart one, especially when we consider the negative health effects that dairy can bring. If you’ve never tried a dairy-free diet, try it and see if it works for you.
It is a Choice one needs to make on his Own. Decide the Best for your Body.
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