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Tuesday 27 March 2018

Five Ways That Drinking Milk Can Improve Your Health

image from here

Jillian Kubala MS RD writes:
"Milk has been enjoyed throughout the world for thousands of years. By definition, it’s a nutrient-rich fluid that female mammals produce to feed their young. The most commonly consumed types come from cows, sheep and goats. Western countries drink cow’s milk most frequently. Milk consumption is a hotly debated topic in the nutrition world, so you might wonder if it’s healthy or harmful.

This article lists five science-backed health benefits of milk so you can decide if it’s the right choice for you.

1. Milk Is Packed With Nutrients
The nutritional profile of milk is impressive. After all, it’s designed to fully nourish new-born animals. Just one cup (244 grams) of whole cow’s milk contains:
Calories: 146
Protein: 8 grams
Fat: 8 grams
Calcium: 28% of the RDA
Vitamin D: 24% of the RDA
Riboflavin (B2): 26% of the RDA
Vitamin B12: 18% of the RDA
Potassium: 10% of the RDA
Phosphorus: 22% of the RDA
Selenium: 13% of the RDA
Milk is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including “nutrients of concern,” which are under-consumed by many populations. It provides potassium, B12, calcium and vitamin D, which are lacking in many diets. Milk is also a good source of vitamin A, magnesium, zinc and thiamine (B1). Additionally, it’s an excellent source of protein and contains hundreds of different fatty acids, including conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3s.
Conjugated linoleic acid and omega-3 fatty acids are linked to many health benefits, including a reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease. The nutritional content of milk varies, depending on factors like its fat content and the diet and treatment of the cow it came from. For example, milk from cows that eat mostly grass contains significantly higher amounts of conjugated linoleic acid and omega-3 fatty acids. Also, organic and grass-fed cow’s milk contains higher amounts of beneficial antioxidants, such as vitamin E and beta-carotene, which help reduce inflammation and fight oxidative stress.
Summary Milk contains a wide array of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fats and antioxidants. Keep in mind that its nutritional content can vary depending on many factors.

2. It's A Good Source of Quality Protein

Milk is a rich source of protein, with just one cup containing 8 grams. Protein is necessary for many vital functions in your body, including growth and development, cellular repair and immune system regulation. Milk is considered a “complete protein,” meaning it contains all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for your body to function at an optimal level. Drinking milk is associated with a lower risk of age-related muscle loss in several studies. In fact, higher consumption of milk and milk products has been linked to greater whole-body muscle mass and better physical performance in older adults. Milk has also been shown to boost muscle repair in athletes. In fact, several studies have demonstrated that drinking milk after a workout can decrease muscle damage, promote muscle repair, increase strength and even decrease muscle soreness. Plus, it’s a natural alternative to highly processed protein drinks marketed toward post-workout recovery.
Summary Milk is a rich source of quality protein that contains all nine essential amino acids. It may help reduce age-related muscle loss and promote muscle repair after exercise.

image from here

3. May Benefit Bone Health
Drinking milk has long been associated with healthy bones. This is due to its powerful combination of nutrients, including calcium, phosphorus, potassium, protein and (in grass-fed, full-fat dairy) vitamin K2. All of these nutrients are essential for maintaining strong, healthy bones. Approximately 99% of your body’s calcium is stored in your bones and teeth. Milk is an excellent source of the nutrients your body relies on to properly absorb calcium, including vitamin D, vitamin K, phosphorus and magnesium. Adding milk and dairy products to your diet may prevent bone diseases like osteoporosis. Studies have linked milk and dairy to a lower risk of osteoporosis and fractures, especially in older adults. What’s more, milk is a good source of protein, a key nutrient for bone health. In fact, protein makes up about 50% of bone volume and around one-third of bone mass. Evidence suggests that eating more protein may protect against bone loss, especially in women who do not consume enough dietary calcium.
Summary Milk contains a variety of nutrients that benefit bone health, such as calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus and magnesium. Studies suggest that consuming milk and dairy products may prevent osteoporosis and reduce the risk of fractures.

4. May Prevent Weight Gain

Several studies have linked milk intake to a lower risk of obesity. Interestingly, this benefit has only been associated with whole milk. A study in 145 three-year-old Latino children found that higher milk-fat consumption was associated with a lower risk of childhood obesity. Another study including over 18,000 middle-aged and elderly women showed that eating more high-fat dairy products was associated with less weight gain and a lower risk of obesity. Milk contains a variety of components that may contribute to weight loss and prevent weight gain. For example, its high-protein content helps you feel full for a longer period of time, which may prevent overeating. Furthermore, the conjugated linoleic acid in milk has been studied for its ability to boost weight loss by promoting fat breakdown and inhibiting fat production. Additionally, many studies have associated diets rich in calcium with a lower risk of obesity. Evidence suggests that people with a higher intake of dietary calcium have a lower risk of being overweight or obese. Studies have shown that high levels of dietary calcium promote fat breakdown and inhibit fat absorption in the body.
Summary Adding milk, especially whole milk, to your diet may prevent weight gain.

5. A Versatile Ingredient

Milk is a nutritious beverage that provides a number of health benefits. Moreover, it’s a versatile ingredient that can be easily added to your diet. If you’re not a fan of milk, there are other dairy products that have similar nutrient profiles. For example, unsweetened yogurt made from milk contains the same amount of protein, calcium and phosphorus. Yogurt is a healthy and versatile alternative to processed dips and toppings.
Summary Milk is a versatile ingredient that can be added to your diet in a number of ways. Try adding it to smoothies, coffee or your morning oatmeal.

Milk Is Not for Everyone
Although milk may be a good choice for some, others can’t digest it or choose not to consume it. Many people can’t tolerate milk because they’re unable to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products. Interestingly, lactose intolerance affects around 65% of the world’s population. Others choose not to consume milk or dairy products due to dietary restrictions, health concerns or ethical reasons. This has led to a wide variety of non-dairy milk alternatives, including:
Almond milk: Made from almonds, this plant-based alternative is lower in calories and fat than cow’s milk.
Coconut milk: This tropical drink made from coconut flesh and water has a creamy texture and mild flavour.
Cashew milk: Cashews and water combine to make this subtly sweet and rich substitute.
Soy milk: Contains a similar amount of protein as cow’s milk and has a mild flavour.
Hemp milk: This alternative is made from hemp seeds and provides a good amount of high quality, plant-based protein.
Oat milk: This substitute is very mild in flavour with a thicker consistency, making it a great addition to coffee.
Rice milk: A great option for those with sensitivities or allergies, as it’s the least allergenic of all non-dairy milks.
When choosing a non-dairy milk substitute, keep in mind that many of these products contain added ingredients like sweeteners, artificial flavours, preservatives and thickeners. Choosing a product with limited ingredients is a good choice when comparing brands. Read the labels to determine which best suits your needs. If possible, stick to unsweetened varieties to limit the amount of added sugar in your diet.
Summary There are many non-dairy milk alternatives available for those who can’t or choose not to drink milk.

The Bottom Line

Milk is a nutrient-rich beverage that may benefit your health in several ways. It’s packed with important nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, B vitamins, potassium and vitamin D. Plus, it’s an excellent source of protein. Drinking milk and dairy products may prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures and even help you maintain a healthy weight. Many people are unable to digest milk or choose to avoid it for personal reasons. For those able to tolerate it, consuming high-quality milk and dairy products has been proven to provide a number of health benefits."

The above is part of Jillian's article.
You can read it in full, with all related information and research links,

We bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy. Please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan


Valerie-Jael said...

Milk is always a fave with me. Hugs, Valerie

Lee said...

I love milk, and I always have more than enough of it in my fridge to keep me satisfied....full cream...not skim or low-fat.

JFM said...

We love milk in our family...including my hubby!
I actually crave an ice cold glass of whole milk at times.
Another great post!


Steve Parker, M.D. said...

For those keep track, 1 cup of whole milk (cow) has 12 grams of carbohydrate.

Anyone with lactose intolerance can take (by mouth) the enzyme needed to digest milk sugar. Lactaid is one product in the U.S.


Sami said...

I'm lactose intolerant and haven't drunk milk for a few years, I use almond/coconut milk instead. But I eat cheese, which I love, as it doesn't seem to affect my intolerance.

Christine said...

We drink a lot of milk, too much.

Lowcarb team member said...

Steve Parker MD has given some good information in his comment above that readers may be interested in.

Many thanks Steve

All the best Jan

Christine said...

So good to know & good for the body as a whole!

happyone said...

Good to know. I love milk and drink it every day.

Elephant's Child said...

Bad experiences with 'school milk' mean that I cannot face milk on its own. I do use it in cooking, and happily consume cheese, and yoghurt.

William Kendall said...

I drink it most days.

Lisabella Russo said...

Thanks so much for all of the information, much appreciated!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Dearest Jan, MILK and protein has been under rated over the last few years but truth be told, it's what life is made of, isn't it! Though I have a hard time digesting milk, I can enjoy in yogurt and get plenty of it. Thank you for this extensive information. And, thank you so much for coming to visit my blog. It means a lot to me.

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Jan, milk is a big favorite in our home. Thanks for pointing out its nutritional value to our diets. ♥

Crafty Green Poet said...

I just don't like drinking milk, I blame the sour milk we had to drink in primary school

carol l mckenna said...

Wonderful photo of the Grandpa and grand son ~ informative post too!

Happy Days to you,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Phil Slade said...

I think I should send this post to granddaughters Isabella and Olivia. Neither of them will drink milk on its own or in tea/coffee but of course will eat yoghurt and ice cream. Yes, you know the difference - sugar.

Magic Love Crow said...

A very good post! Thank you Jan! Big Hugs!