Is Milk Good For You?

Published 5/14/13

We have all been conditioned that milk should be the a key staple of any diet and that it is the epitome of healthy drinking and strong bones. Milk may be an extremely beneficial beverage but recent research is beginning to show that milk is not as innocent as once thought. Milk is great for babies and children as their bodies continue to develop but now modern science is suggesting that adults should start to wean off milk once their body completes puberty.

Health Benefits of Milk

One eight-ounce glass of milk is a nutrition powerhouse. One serving of milk can provide as much as 30% of your recommended daily value (DV) of calcium, 25% DV of vitamin D, 20% DV of phosphorus, and 11% DV of potassium.

Whole Milk vs. 2%/1%/Skim

Cow’s milk is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D but is very high in saturated fat, which is why 2%, 1%, or skim milk is typically recommended.  One serving of whole milk contains up to 146 calories with 8 grams of fat, with 5 of those 8 grams being saturated fats, the unhealthiest type of fat. In comparison, one serving of 1% milk contains roughly 100 calories with only 2 grams of saturated fats. One serving of skim milk has only 83 calories along with 0 grams fat.

Is Milk More Detrimental Than Beneficial?

From a surface level, milk looks extremely beneficial as a result of being an excellent source of protein, vitamin D and calcium. But as you begin to dive a little deeper some red flags begin to appear. Milk is considered by many health professionals to be a mucus-producing food that can aggravate congestion and produce worsening sinus problems and sinus migraines. Some studies have even shown a correlation between milk and reflux, eczema, strep throat, and joint pain. If you suffer from any of these ailments listed above, it is recommended that you limit your consumption of milk. Although you will be missing out on the nutrition found in milk, there are plenty of other sources of protein, vitamin D, and calcium.

Post-Workout Beverage

The protein found in milk is roughly 80% whey protein with the rest being casein protein. Whey protein is known as a fast protein because it is easily broken down to amino acids and absorbed into the bloodstream rapidly. Casein, on the other hand, is a slow protein because it takes your body longer to digest it. Whey protein and casein make a great team because whey protein gives your muscles the protein it needs right after being exercised while the casein nourishes your muscles as they recover throughout the day or while you sleep.

Is Organic Milk Really Organic?

It is very important to be aware of what the milk in store fridges actually contains. When producing milk, cows are given growth hormones to speed up milk production and antibiotics to fight infections. Inevitably, these hormones and antibiotics end up in the final milk beverage. Just because a milk container says “organic” doesn’t mean that the milk is truly organic. Some milk producers use the term organic to say that no hormones were used while others use the term to say that no antibiotics were used. If you are looking for milk that contains neither hormones nor antibiotics, be sure to check the label for a clear statement that states that neither hormones nor antibiotics were given to the cows that provided the milk for that brand.

Milk Substitutes

For people who have trouble processing cow’s milk as a result of being lactose intolerant, there are several great milk alternatives. Some of the most popular milk substitutes include soymilk, goat’s milk, almond milk, rice milk, and coconut milk.

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