Since the time we were young we’ve been told by our grandparents, parents and doctors to drink our milk because it is good for us, but according to recent research, a glass of milk a day might not keep illnesses at bay, but instead can actually cause them.
Cow’s milk is a daily, staple food for many people and has been for millennia. While it’s still a popular food, recent studies suggest that milk may have harmful effects on the body and can even increase the risk of osteoporosis. While there is other research, however, that points out the health benefits of dairy.
So, what do you believe and is there any truth to these claims? By knowing about the pros and cons of milk, you can determine if you can tolerate milk or decide not to drink it.
What Is Milk?
Milk is a combination of water and casein protein which is a type of protein that digests slowly. It also has small traces of fat, lactose, vitamins and minerals and is also known as a simple sugar. Milk is considered a whole food and provides 18 out of 22 essential nutrients. It contains more calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and protein per calorie than any other food in a typical diet.
Milk also contains iron, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, vitamin E, vitamin K, niacin, thiamin and selenium. Considering all the nutrients provided for your body, it would be hard to deny the following benefits that milk can potentially do for your health.
Pros of Drinking Milk
Aside from keeping our bones nice and strong, milk is also used for the following:
Bone Development: Milk helps to improve weight and bone density in children. It also reduces the risk of childhood fractures.
Suppresses Appetite: A 2013 study showed that dairy helped individuals feel fuller and reduced how much fat they ate overall. Proving that while dairy is not necessarily associated with weight loss, it may help curb appetite.
Prevents Diabetes: The whey protein in milk may help to prevent type 2 diabetes in adults. Which could be because milk proteins improve your blood sugar balance.
Promotes Heart Health: Milk fat may help raise levels of good cholesterol called HDL, which helps to prevent heart disease and stroke. Additionally, milk is a good source of potassium, which helps to balance blood pressure.
Cons of Drinking Milk
Although drinking milk proposes a variety of benefits for your health, it can also propose a variety of complications as well.
Acne: Adult acne may be triggered by dairy. This may be due to the carbohydrates and whey protein in milk. Other studies linked this skin condition to skim and low-fat milk, but not to whole milk or cheese.
Contributes to Bone Fractures: Drinking three or more glasses of milk a day may increase the risk of bone fractures in women. Researchers found that this may be due to sugars called lactose and galactose in milk.
Causes Cancer: A surplus of calcium from milk and other foods may increase the risk of prostate cancer. Milk may be linked to a slightly higher risk of ovarian cancer as well. Milk from cows given growth hormones contains higher levels of a chemical that may increase the risk of some cancers. But more studies need to be conducted on the long-term effects of these hormones and on antibiotics given to dairy cows.
Even though drinking milk is important for children’s development and may help you and your child maintain good health, an excess of calcium and the extra hormones can cause osteoporosis and increase the risk of cancer. So if you wish to consume milk, make sure it’s organic or choose a dairy alternative. And remember, things are only good for you in moderation. If you choose to drink milk make sure it’s within your daily caloric intake.