Is Milk Good For You?

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My how times have changed.

For decades, milk was sold as the salvation of the human body. Parents continually told their kids that milk was a necessary part of a balanced diet, providing much needed calcium for healthy bones and teeth.

Advertising campaigns like “Got Milk” or “Milk does the body good” were used to sell Americans on the notion milk was healthy, a notion that permeated American society.

However, recent studies conducted over the last 10-15 years are painting a much different story. So, is milk good for you?

On the Positive Side

Before examining the new information that indicates milk might not be all it claims to be, there are certain benefits of milk consumption that should be pointed out for consumers.

1. Muscle Building

Protein is a crucial nutrient in the muscle-building process. Milk contains two important types of protein called whey at 80% and casein at 20%.The real benefit realized with whey is that it acts as what is referred to as a “fast protein.”

Fast means that it is quickly broken down into needed nutrients that are subsequently absorbed into the bloodstream, providing rapid relief to muscle fibers as they are stretched and torn right after the exercising process.

This quick relief is then supplement by other proteins that act slower, providing the body with a nice even stream of proteins over time.

2. Source of Important Vitamins and Minerals

Of course, milk is a reliable source of vitamins and minerals that are essential to the development and maintenance of the human body. Some of these nutrients include potassium (lowers cholesterol and blood pressure), Vitamin D and calcium.

Considering all of the different nutrients found in milk, calcium is the one that gets the most attention.

In the case of some of these vitamins and minerals, milk is able to provide most if not all of the “recommended daily allowances” prescribed by doctors.

However, it is important to note that some doctors and nutritionists now believe there are better sources than milk for many of these nutrients.

Questioning the Health Benefits of Milk

Around the late 1980s, scientist began promoting the notion that milk was still valuable for children, but adults were probably just as well off without it.

Around the turn of the century, further studies indicated that milk was capable of creating just as many problems as it could solve. Furthermore, consumers who were wondering is whole milk bad for you soon discovered it didn’t make much difference what type of milk was being consumed.

With that said, here is a look at some of the negative things about milk that might warrant avoiding it in the future.

1. Good Calcium vs Bad Protein

Considering all of the revelations about how much milk contributes to building strong teeth and bones, it turns out the benefits of calcium from milk are offset by another issue.

It has been determined that the animal protein found in milk actually acts to weaken bones because it rapidly depletes the amount of calcium in the human body.

That kind of debunks the myth that milk is a useful product in reducing the risk of bone fractures typically caused by bone-stress.

2. Conflicts About Weight Management

Almost all food products and beverages are evaluated based upon whether or not they contribute to weight gain or obesity. In the case of milk, it depends on levels of consumption.

Taken in small amounts, milk acts as an efficient fat-burner, which helps eliminate body fat. On the other side of the coin, milk has a lot of calories. Most consumers buy 2% fat content, which has 138 calories per 8 ounce serving.

If a person drinks the recommended daily amount of three servings, they are taking in over 400 calories, which represents almost 25% of the recommended daily amount of calories in a healthy diet.

For those who drink a carton as day, they are running the risk of negating the fat-burning properties in favor of creating extra body fat.

3. Allergies

Whether it is genetics or something else, no one knows for sure. But somehow, an increasing number of people are displaying an allergic reaction to milk.

Many times, these allergies are as a result of the lactose found in milk. At some point, the body becomes unable to deal with high levels of lactose, causing the body to become lactose intolerant.

The allergic reaction causes bloating, constipation and in some cases, the inability to control one’s bowels.

4. Links to Other Diseases

It is becoming cliche to say something is linked to diseases.

In the case of milk, there have been studies done that show milk might be at least a contributing cause to diseases or conditions such as breast cancer, kidney stones, acne, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease and diabetes, with might being the operative word.

Conclusion

Based on the conflicts in data, it is clear that best approach to take with the consumption of milk would be moderation.

It is probably okay to consume up to the daily recommended allowance, but anything above than might create more risks and problems in the long-term.

 

Sources:

  • http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/facts/is-milk-good-for-you.htm, “Is milk good for you?”, by the editors of PureHealthMD
  • http://www.naturalnews.com/031255_milk_health.html, “Why milk is bad for you”, February 09, 2011 by: Cindy Jones-Shoeman
  • http://www.nbcnews.com/id/22349307/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/t/does-milk-really-do-body-good/, “Does milk really do a body good?”, By Alan Aragon, M.S.
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