A balanced diet consists of daily intake of milk and other milk products as recommended by nutritionists. But in reality, is milk good for you? Milk has always been considered to be a great source of minerals, especially calcium, and vitamins and has always been known to be vital to health and bone development. However, there are also many downside of drinking milk, so we need to look at both sides of the coin to make an informed decision.
Below are more advantages and disadvantages of drinking milk.
Nutrients and Benefits of Milk
Is milk good for you? Well, from the aspects of the nutrients and benefits it offers, it is.
Milk and dairy products are good sources of a balanced diet as it contains fat, protein and carbohydrate. It is also a rich source of essential nutrients such as calcium, phosphorous, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and vitamins A, D and B12.
There are dairy products that have proteins of superior quality which are good for human needs. Milk proteins raise the value of low quality cereal. The lack of amino acid in vegetable protein is provided as well by the protein in milk.
- Prevents Osteoporosis. Milk and its product are rich source of calcium. As such, consumption of milk and its products can lower the risk of osteoporosis (a disease of the bone) especially in older people and women.
- Reduces Risk of Colon Cancer. The regular intake of dairy products was found to lower the risk of having colon cancer, according to some studies.
- Lowers Blood Pressure. According to US research, combining low-fat milk products with high consumption of vegetables and fruits has been found to greatly reduce blood pressure compared to just eating vegetables and fruits.
- Prevents Type 2 Diabetes. A study conducted over a 10-year period, involving 3,000 adults who were overweight shows that intake of milk and dairy products can help them reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes with over consumption of carbohydrates and refined sugar.
- Decreases Tooth Decay. Milk and its products help reduce the risk of dental caries. Eating dairy products including cheese helps prevent tooth decay as it increases the flow of saliva thereby neutralizing the acid in the mouth that is the cause of tooth decay. The formation of plaque is likewise reduced.
Risks of Drinking Milk
Is milk good for you? If you just focus on the risks, then the answer would probably be a NO as the milk sometimes could bring about some issues.
1. Lactose Intolerance
Lactose intolerance is a condition characterized by symptoms such as bloating, pain, gas and diarrhea. Lactose is natural sugar or carbohydrate found in milk of mammals and humans. An enzyme called lactase in the small intestine breaks down lactose, which is then absorbed through the bloodstream. Lactose intolerance occurs when not enough lactase is produced in the small intestine hence when undigested lactose moves through the large intestine, the bacteria breaks up the lactose, which causes the lactose intolerance condition.
2. Other Problems
Aside from allergy and lactose intolerance, the gastrointestinal tract does not often tolerate milk as it can cause constipation, bloating as well as reflux to many people. Based on clinical observations, milk may also be associated with the following:
- Increase in eczema
- Headaches or migraine
- Pain in the joints
- Aggravates sinus problems
- Congestion, as milk is thought of as mucus-producing
- The incidence of strep throat infection decreased when milk was removed from the diet of children.
Watch a video for pros and cons of drinking milk:
So the final suggestion is: the pros and cons of drinking milk aren’t all that far apart. Consuming a cup or two of milk is fine, according to Webmd. The point isn’t that you have to give up dairy, but it’s important for people to know that they don’t have to drink milk to be healthy.