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Milk with a punch

Updated on September 8, 2017

Facts about milk

Milk is often on household top grocery lists. However, the scary dairy stores may leave you second-guessing your next sip of milk. So, is milk suddenly bad for you? Is it a source of cancer-causing hormones and antibiotics? Or is there a way to enjoy the benefits without facing the downside? If yes, which milk to pick?

Here are few things to know before making up your mind…..

What you’ve heard:

Milk makes you fat

What you should know:

No! It helps burn fat

Whole milk has a unique ratio of macronutrients, providing 8g protein,8g fat and 12g carbohydrate per cup which is great to stabilise hunger regulating hormones.
A recently published study confirmed the effect milk and dairy products have on weight loss, where subjects consuming at least two servings a day lost more belly fat and gained lean mass. Milk is high in calcium, which helps get rid of fat. But studies show that this effect was not replicated by calcium supplements because milk has other active compounds that provide additional fat burning effect.

What you’ve heard:
You need protein supplements, not milk to build muscle

What you should know:
Not true

One serving of most protein supplements provide 23g of protein, which is comparable to 20g from 500ml of whole milk. After an intense workout, you need 18-20g of complete protein for recovery. Milk is a complete protein with 20 percent whey and 80 percent casein. Since it provides both compounds, it is ideal after-workout drink.

What you’ve heard:
Hormones make milk unhealthy

What you should know:
Not unless you are injecting the cattle

The use of recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) results in more milk production at a lower cost. But rBGH boosts milk’s concentration of insulin like growth factor that’s linked to cancer. Although drinking milk from hormone treated cows doesn’t transfer the active form of these chemicals to our body, it is advisable to use dairy products from a trust worthy local store. Recent studies from the UK show that organic milk from pasture raised cattle has more beneficial fatty acids than conventional dairy. A study among 40,000 Norwegian women revealed that those who drank milk as children and continued through out adulthood had a much lower chance of developing breast cancer.

What you’ve heard:
Flavoured milk is healthy

What you should know:

It’s fattening

On its own, milk is a high nutrient food with natural sugars. But manufacturers load flavoured milk with sugar, syrups, artificial sweeteners and colours, emulsifiers, preservatives, caffeine and unrecognisable ingredients. Always read the contents and nutrition label carefully to ensure that you don’t consume any unwanted elements.

What you’ve heard:
Milk is complete food

What you should know:
Not really

It keeps your bones healthy,helps you sleep better, regulate blood pressure and build lean muscle. You can survive without drinking it, as long as you know the substitutes for calcium, potassium, vitamin A, B-6, B-12, choline, magnesium, healthy fats, probiotic and proteins.

What you’ve heard:
Milk contains antibiotics

What you should know:
Not by itself

They can end up in milk when used on dairy cows. Small levels of drugs are allowed in milk, but residues that go beyond certain thresholds are illegal. In a study conducted by the National Dairy Institute in 2011, raw milk samples from Delhi and surrounding villages were collected. The overall antibiotic incidence rate was 14 percent. 11 per cent contained Beta- lactase and 2 percent contained streptomycin. Also conventionally raised dairy cattle are primarily fed grain. If the cows have access to healthier food,you are benefitted too. For maximum positive impact, minimise the steps between farm and glass. Find an honest milkman and pay him right so that he has no reason to adulterate.

What you’ve heard:
Skimmed milk is better than whole

What you should know:
In fact, not!

Milk is available with different fat content in different countries. In India,there’s full cream milk(6 percent fat), toned milk (3 percent), double toned(1.5 percent fat) and slim/skim milk(less than 0.5 percent fat). Whereas in the US, the categories are whole milk(3.25 percent fat),reduced fat(2 percent), low fat(1 percent fat). Whole milk is high in saturated fat, but that doesn’t mean skim milk will make you lose weight. In fact, it may do just the opposite. A Swedish study showed a lower risk of weight gain among women who drank one or more cups of whole milk in a day than those who drank low fat milk. This was due to high satiety linked to full fat milk. Scientific studies show that drinking whole milk improves cholesterol levels. Scientists at the University of Texas found that drinking whole milk after lifting weights boosted muscle protein synthesis.

reference: weekly magazine, Brunch Hindustan Times

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      masood arif 6 months ago

      Nice article