Most babies start out their lives getting their nutrition from the milk their mother provides. Then, as you grow, you are continued to be told to drink up your milk in order to grow big and strong. Milk is rich in calcium, so many people include it and other dairy products into their daily lives.
But what actually happens when we drink milk? Are we supposed to keep drinking milk into adulthood or is it something only meant for babies and calves?
There have been several studies done on the importance of milk including one by Harvard University and the Dairy Education Board. There are also some people who believe that drinking milk regularly is good for the body and think that dairy is important, and then there are others who think that ‘milk is a deadly poison.’
There’s even an entire website dedicated to anti-milk called notmilk.com which features tons of articles pointing out the supposed evils of milk. However, there are still facts pointing towards milk and dairy products being beneficial to our health.
Nutritionist Alan Argon, M.S. finds that people can still thrive on milk. Whether it be to build muscle or lose fat.
In an article he wrote for men’s health magazine, he points out some of the facts and theories that cause certain people to cut milk out of their diets. One claim suggests that milk from cows has cancer-causing hormones.
However, there have also been a lot of ‘pro-milk propaganda’ such as the ‘Got Milk’ campaign from a few years back which featured celebrities sporting a milk mustache.
After going through research on anti-milk claims as well as being aware of the Pro-Milk propaganda, he has come up with a few answers about the regular consumption of the beverage.
He points out that in a 6-month study conducted at the University of Tennessee, the research found that overweight people who drank three servings of milk a day lost more belly fat than people who followed a similar diet but didn’t drink as much milk.
Research also found that calcium supplements don’t work as well as drinking milk. This is because there are other compounds in milk and other dairy products that can better assist with burning fat.
Although, this has to be paired with a good diet. Drinking a bunch of milk and eating junk food will most likely not result in healthy weight loss.
Milk is also good for building muscle, according to Aragon. ‘In fact, milk is one of the best muscle foods on the planet,’ he wrote. The protein in milk in 20% whey and 80% casein. Whey is a ‘fast protein’ that quickly breaks down into amino acids to be absorbed by the blood stream and casein is digested slower.
Some scientists suggest that milk taken from cows who have been given antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance to those who drink it–which would make antibiotic medicines less effective. However, this theory has never been proven.
Aragon also touches on the fears surrounding drinking milk from cows who have been given hormones. When the use of a growth hormone (rBGH) was approved, it caused controversy. The same hormone boosts the insulin-like growth factor in milk which is a hormone that has been linked to cancer.
He explains that the only way this hormone can become cancer-causing is if it’s injected. So even though none of the chemicals will be transferred if you drink milk from hormone-treated cows, it’s also important to keep in mind that hormones aren’t good for the cows.
The Harvard milk study found that although milk isn’t the best thing for our bodies as we thought, people probably shouldn’t cut dairy out of their diets too quickly.
It also pointed out that it’s a lot easier to get children to drink a glass of milk than to get them to eat calcium-rich vegetables such as collard greens.
Milk is widely believed to be good for the teeth and bones due to it being a good source of Vitamin D.
It’s also known to help reduce stress and relieve heartburn. Everyone knows to reach for a glass of milk if they ate something too spicy. The thick cool beverage coats the esophagus and helps alleviate the burning sensations.
Whether you’re going to continue drinking milk or you’ve started to question its benefits, there are a ton of other foods rich in calcium that you can try. You can grab a kale salad, eat some oranges, or soybeans, or you can switch to an alternate milk beverage such as soy or rice milk.