Although it is a common food in our homes, the truth is that there is still no scientific agreement as to whether milk is a beneficial food for our health. Take note of the myths and truths of milk consumption.
We have set out to demystify some of the claims that are made about milk, although we already anticipate that it is not something simple and we cannot always give you a concrete answer, because in fact, the scientific and medical community still does not agree about whether milk is beneficial or not for our health.
We believe it is important, at least, to be informed of the latest scientific studies and give us the time to reflect on whether actually drinking lots of milk a day brings us some benefit or, on the contrary, damages us. The dairy industry and food marketing constantly bombard us to consume them, explaining the great properties they are supposed to have and all the benefits they will have on our health.
In short, it is difficult to give an idea with so much contradictory information, but we will try to give you all the information from the beginning, so that you make the decision that you consider about your milk consumption. We begin with the myths and truths about the consumption of milk.
Drinking milk strengthens bones
For years, all Western children would drink a glass of milk at breakfast and dinner because it supposedly helped bone growth thanks to the amount of calcium that milk provides. Today this statement is almost a myth; because more and more scientific studies that leave aside the consumption of milk as a key to good bone health.
To begin with, within Europe there is great confusion about the total consumption of calcium that we need daily. While in the UK it is stated that an adult should take 700mg of calcium a day, in Spain 900mg is recommended. And the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) also changes the proportion: 1000 mg per day for adults aged 18-24 years and 950mg for those over 25 years. Not to mention the recommended intake of calcium for breastfeeding women, this in the United Kingdom rises by 60% of the usual recommended intake, while EFSA believes that the recommended levels should be maintained as a function of age.
That is to say that there is no consensus on how much calcium we need, so we cannot know if eating a lot of milk will help us or not to maintain adequate levels of calcium in our body.
In addition, in the metabolization of calcium interfere other aspects, so ingesting large amounts of calcium, either through the milk, dairy products or supplements, is not always the best option. According to research published in the British Medical Journal in 2015, increasing calcium intake does not prevent fractures and is not good for remineralizing bones.
Although it is true that it would have to see what other foods get calcium or if the necessary intake of calcium is not so high. Conversely, Other research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that not consuming cow’s milk during childhood is linked to lower bone density and short stature. So at this point, we are confused, like most of the population.
Milk is the best source of calcium
And continuing with calcium, we can assure you that this statement is an extended myth and that is not true. In fact, there are many foods that provide large amounts of calcium and are more nutritious and healthy, as well many other necessary nutrients for human body: you find calcium in beans, beets, soybeans, nuts, broccoli and other vegetables contributing in addition to calcium, vitamin D, necessary for the body to absorb calcium. What’s more, there are other important factors in maintaining good health bone that help prevent osteoporosis, such as physical activity (especially strength exercises), maintaining a diet with good levels of vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin K (which are obtained in its most vegetables), moderating salt intake, not consuming alcoholic beverages and not to smoke.
Milk is good food for women
Well here depends on what milk. If it is fresh and organic, it may be beneficial, but the truth is that most industrial milks are loaded with hormones from dairy cows, as well as different substances like sugars and fats that are not the best option for a healthy diet, much less in the case of women, who are seriously harmed by excess hormones.
Drink milk gain weight
Yes, you gain weight if you drink it too much. In fact, according to research published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood says that children who exceed three glasses of milk a day can cause obesity and overweight. And is that milk has large amounts of sugar and fat, especially whole milk, which more than once has been a matter of controversy. In general, any sugary milk is best to be avoided and always opt for natural dairy, if they are organic and of grassland, much better.
Drinking lots of milk produces lactose intolerance
Although data indicate that in countries where more milk and dairy drinks are consumed there is a higher percentage of people with lactose intolerance, so far, medical research is not conclusive. Lactose intolerance occurs when the small intestine is unable to produce or produces insufficient amounts of an enzyme called lactase, which is responsible to digest lactose. But there are several causes that are identified with this anomaly, such as a gastrointestinal infection or premature birth, among others.
Drink milk prevents cancer
An American Cancer Society research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology claims that a diet rich in milk can lengthen the lives of people who suffer from colon cancer, although some scientists differ on this claim.
Whatever it is, the truth is that there is no study that states that milk prevents some type of cancer. In contrast, in the study ensures that milk can increase the risk of breast, prostate and ovarian cancer, because in the milk of pregnant cows there are estrogens that can influence the appearance of prostate, ovarian and breast cancers. In fact, this research showed that in countries where more milk and cheese were consumed, the number of cancers of this type was higher.