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Everything You Need To Know About Milk

Updated on August 3, 2017

Human drink milk about 10,000 years ago in what is now Iran and Afghanistan.

Sources of milk and milk products include goats, camels, sheep, cows, and others. “Milk alternatives” include coconut milk, flax milk, almond milk, soymilk, and hemp milk.

The nine essential nutrients found in milk are phosphorus, vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin A, protein, potassium, calcium, niacin, and riboflavin. Being the key ingredient of milk, all of these nutrients work together to help our body keep healthy.

Countries with the highest dairy consumption, surprisingly, have the highest rates of osteoporosis.

Dairy factories and farms account for huge amounts of CO2 emissions, water consumption, land degradation, and water contamination.

Types of Milk

In stores, there are primary type of milk: fat-free milk, low-fat milk (1%), reduced-fat milk (2%), and whole milk. Whole milk is 3.5% milk fat. Since the amount of fat in the liquid has not been altered, it is also sometimes referred to as “regular milk”.

Only the level of fat will change the total calories in milk. A cup of whole milk has about 145 calories, whereas a cup of non-fat milk has about 90 calories. All other essential nutrients – vitamin D, potassium, calcium, and the rest are the same.

The fat in milk is actually cream – this is the reason why it is also called full cream milk. Skim milk is a milk which the cream has been removed.

Both evaporated milk and condensed milk are forms of concentrated milk, two of them have had about 60% of their water content removed. After they remove the water, they will cool the liquid, and then sterilize it at around 240 °F before going to canning process. Vitamin D is often added to boost the nurtitional value of evaporated milk.

When evaporated milk is sweetened, it is known as condensed milk. Condensed milk and sweetened condensed milk are the same, they are synonymous. Condensed milk contains 40-45% sugar.

Cow Milk vs Goat Milk

The molecules of fat in cow’s milk is much bigger than the fat molecules in goat’s milk. This size difference makes goats milk easier for us to digest.

If left sitting on the shelf, you will notice that the fat in cows milk will float to the top. This is one of the reason cow’s milk is being process, to homogenize it. Goats milk is naturally homogenized.

Goat milk contains less lactose (milk sugar), which makes it easier on your stomach. However, some experts explained that the two actually contain quiet similar levels of lactose, 4.7% for cows and 4.1% for goats.

There is also little difference when it comes to saturated fat and calories. A 100ml serving of goat’s milk provides 60 calories and 3.5 grams of fat, while cow’s contain 67 calories and 3.9 grams of fat.

Cow’s milk contains more vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is for the formation of healthy red blood cells.

Goats milk contains less protein called Alpha s1 Casein (about 98%). This protein is the common cause for allergies in children under the age of three. However, both cow and goat’s milk contain beta-lactoglobulin, another type of allergenic protein, that is why some infants who is allergic to cows’milk will also allergic to milk from goat.

According to a study from University of Granada in Spain, goat’s milk can boost iron absorption more effectively than cow’s. The study also tells us that higher levels of zinc and selenium are found in goat’s milk, which help our immune system.

The mineral and vitamin content of cow’s milk and goat’s milk are fairly similar, though milk from goat contains a bit more vitamin A, vitamin B6, calcium, copper, niacin, potassium, and the antioxidant selenium. On the other hand, milk from cow contains more vitamin B12 and much more folic acid.

However, cows produce 90% of the world’s milk.

Lactose Intolerant

Lactose is the sugar found in dairy products, and we need the enzyme lactase to break it down. You would become lactose intolerant if your small intestine stop making enough this enzyme to digest and break down the lactose. If there is not enough lactase, then the bacteria will break it down in the small bowel, causing stomach cramps, flatulence, bloating, diarrhoea and nausea.

Genetically, babies need milk, adults not so much. 70% of people in the world dont continue producing lactase once they have finished breast feeding. Lactose intolerance is very common in adults. It occurs more often in people in Asian, African, Native Americans, and South American descent compared to people of European descent.

Mortality & Bone Fractures

According to an observational cohort study in Sweden, women consuming less than one glass of milk a day had almost half the mortality over 20 years compared to those women consuming more than 3 glasses of milk a day.

High milk-drinkers also did not have improved bone health, they had more fractures instead, particularly hip fractures. The study also tells us that fermented milk products (yogurt and cheese) in fact decreased fractures and mortality significantly among those women. According to researchers, this is because milk has more D-galactose than yogurt and cheese. This breakdown product of lactose has been proven to be pro-inflammatory.

Other Milk Benefits

Hot Spicy Food
The substance in spicy food that responsible for making you ‘burnt’ is the capsaicin. Capsaicin does not dissolve in water, but it is fat soluble. Milk has casein, a substance that fortunately has a detergent effect on the capsaicin. Not all milk can help, coconut milk for example, as it does not contain casein.

Stomach Acid
Due to the amount of calcium, milk and milk products are alkaline in nature. Its alkalinity can be used to neutralize stomach acid. However, consuming too much fat may stimulate acid production inside your stomach and therefore avoid whole milk or consume in moderate amount.

Reduce The Garlic Smell by 50%
Drinking a glass of milk can reduce garlic breath. This is because Allyl methyl sulphide (AMS) - one of the compounds, cannot be broken down during digestion and therefore it is released from your body in the sweat and breath. Full-fat milk provided better result than skimmed milk. It is said that the fat in milk will suppress the sulphurous properties in garlic.

Slow the Spread of the Poison
When all the available enzymes are being used to break up lactose, another incoming molecules of lactose are put on a waiting list. During this time, your acidic gastric juices will also start doing a number on the milk and turning it into hard-to-digest curds by the hydrochloric acid in your stomach. These curds then end up coating your intestines and your stomach, and give you a case of indigestion – something that you want if you’ve just swallowed a poison.

By drinking milk, the lactase enzymes would be overwhelmed, thus allowing the hydrochloric acid in your stomach to curdle the milk, which coats the intestines and stomach, slowing down the spread of the poison.

However, Dont Take Antibiotics With Milk
The classic family of antibiotics that you should not take with milk are the tetracyclines, this is because the amount of calcium in milk bind the antibiotic and prevent gut absorption

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