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Milk: The good, bad and ugly

  • Published at 06:53 pm October 10th, 2016
Milk: The good, bad and ugly
If you look at the nutrition contents of milk, you will find that it has a great combination of protein, carbohydrate and fat. Milk comes with a host of minerals and vitamins that are needed for the human body to remain healthy. Another important characteristic of milk is its ability to transform into products such as cheese, butter, ghee, and many more. Milk and milk products are often an important part of many different kinds of food. Let's really look into whether milk is actually the super food as is advertised.

The good

Milk comes with a host of macro-nutrients. Each litre of full fat pasteurized milk contains around 35 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbohydrate and 30 grams of protein. If it is non-fat, then it have a a slightly different ratio: 10 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbohydrate and 30 grams of protein. Also, 87% of milk is water, containing biotin, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin B-12, vitamin D, vitamin K, riboflavin (and many others), along with the above mentioned macro nutrients. Hence, a person who exercises intensely can choose milk as the perfect recovery drink. Another important property of milk is that it has electrolytes, which is essential to regain energy and recover from electrolyte imbalance. Lastly, the protein present in milk is casein and whey in a ratio of 80% and 20% respectively. Research suggests that these are very high quality proteins needed for good muscle development. So, whether you exercise or not, milk will benefit your health.

The bad

Having discussed all the benefits regarding this nourishing drink, lets now look at some cons that are associated with milk and milk based products. One problem is lactose intolerance in humans. When we are young we tend to have the lactase enzyme in our system, which helps breakdown lactose. As we grow up, lactase production gradually decreases. So, many of us tend to feel bloated after drinking milk, and some worst case scenarios even include nausea and diarrhoea. Also, many people are allergic to milk and dairy. Symptoms of the allergic reaction include skin rashes, asthma etc. Recent researches also show that milk consumption is not actually good for bone health. The reason behind this is that the body cannot absorb the calcium in pasteurized milk properly. Research also shows that the pasteurization process denatures the protein present in milk.

The ugly

Unfortunately, in the modern dairy industry, cows are not raised the way they were before mass industrialized production. Two of the notable differences are, injecting anti-biotic so that cows stay healthy and injecting growth hormones so that they produce more milk. Now, both anti-biotic and growth hormones might sound okay because they should help humans too. Anti-biotic keeps us healthy and helps us fight against the invasion of foreign bodies in our blood stream. However, anti-biotic on a regular basis makes the body anti-resistant to it. In simple terms, this means the body’s mechanism to fight unhealthy foreign particles diminishes over time. On top of that, regular dosage of anti-biotic destroys the gut flora, therefore the good bacteria needed for digestion and gut health are at risk. Growth hormones found in milk are even more dangerous. Various researches have shown a direct link with prostrate cancer in male adults and ovarian cancer in female adults. Also, casein protein, which is a globular slow, digesting protein, has also been shown to trigger prostrate cancer. My conclusion when it comes to diet in most cases will always be limitation rather than exclusion. In my opinion, with so many research data at our hand, it is safer to consume milk and dairy products in moderation. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Reaz Mahmud Fiem is a fitness enthusiast who wishes to help people stay healthy