Is Milk Good For You?
Probably one of the most controversial topics of recent years is whether is milk good for you, and if other dairy products are good for your health and fitness goals, or just even if they are safe to consume for humans!.
Today we review the literature and research, and there is a lot of it about dairy, says about safety for human consumption, intolerance, and if you choose to include them in your diet if they can benefit or harm your weight loss goals.
Why Is Milk Good For You?
There have been a lot of controversies and a lot of detractors of milk consumption have a wide variety of claims against milk and dairy products. Ranging from a very high-fat content, relation to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and an increased risk of breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers. Not to mention lactose intolerance and a bunch of gastric symptoms.
But there are a lot of things to take into consideration here. Is all milk bad? There are a lot of different products around the world that have some form of milk from many different animals: Goat milk, Buffalo milk mozzarella, yak butter, fermented horse milk, etc. Milk is basically a compound of proteins, sugars, minerals, vitamins and water, and fats and the proportions of all of these vary depending on the animal and on the way it was fed and raised, so to add a bit more to the complexity of this topic: not all kinds of milk are equal and not all milk products are the same.
And not to mention the differences between different products derived from milk, different types of yogurts, cheeses, low-fat milk, low lactose milk, whey protein, casein protein, etc. Add so much complexity to the subject that there are no definitive answers as to whether all types of dairy are harmful or beneficial to every single person.
However, there is no discussion of all the nutritious content of dairy that can be obtained from adding it to our healthy meal plans, provided that it doesn’t cause more harm than good depending on our individual digestion.
To add one more layer to this whole puzzle of whether is milk good for you, the individual characteristics of every person’s digestive system and gut biome make it completely safe for some and really hard to digest for others. However, for people who don’t have a specific intolerance to dairy research shows that most of these claims might not be as scary or true as we might believe:
Cardiovascular disease: Recent research fails to find a significant and clear association between regular consumption of dairy and cardiovascular disease or stroke
Hormones in milk: yes there are some hormones in milk, after all, it comes from an animal that was pregnant, that we ingest when consuming dairy products, however studies made in rats with much higher doses show no increase and showed no increment in estrogen in the blood. This is because the liver does great work at breaking down these hormones. Some further study in humans is needed, however.
Cancer: research in humans has not found enough evidence of an association between estrogens in milk and cancer incidence or recurrence.
Gut and digestive issues: some people simply have issues digesting and processing dairy. In this population, symptoms can vary from mild digestive issues to compromise of the immune system, inflammation, skin rashes, etc. So observation and caution are always good to determine how dairy, or any other food or supplement, affects your individual organism and make adjustments accordingly.
It is important to note that most of the research done, either in favor or against dairy consumption, is observational and not under controlled double-blinded conditions so they should always be taken with a grain of salt and are not definitive for all people.
Research shows that actually there can be several health benefits to the consumption of diverse dairy products, in people that have no intolerance:
Some dairy products are highly pre and probiotics like kefir, yogurt, kumis, and others have an abundant supply of probiotic organisms,), bioactive lipids (produced by the probiotic organisms)
lower levels of lactose and sugar (since the bacteria digest the sugars), a protein that is easier to digest, and higher quantities of vitamins and other great nutrients
Nutrients in milk, like calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D can help improve or maintain bone health. Although it is by no means necessary to ensure strong healthy bones, there are plenty of other ways to get all the same nutrients from other foods, supplements, exercise, and sun exposure
Dairy and Weight Loss
Let’s start the topic of diary and weight loss by remembering the number one rule for weight loss that can not be avoided, and everything we try to do to achieve weight loss has to comply with this rule: Caloric Deficit. Which basically means, burning more calories than you’re consuming.
And dairy can be a good tool to achieve this for a few reasons:
High-quality content of Proteins like whey and casein.
Satiating effect due to the protein content
High vitamin and nutrient content
High levels of probiotic bacteria which are beneficial for gut health
There are many dairy products with low caloric content, low-fat content, and high protein content
So all of these resumes into a positive effect on health and body composition for individuals that have no issue digesting dairy or that have found products that they can consume without any digestive or health issues, and that the consumption is in moderation maintaining the caloric deficit.
So, is milk good for you? Discover the impact of dairy products on your health and fitness goals. Whether you aim to gain muscle mass or lose weight, choose wisely based on content and nutritional values. Experiment and listen to your body to find what suits you best. Remember, moderation is key, and a balanced diet plays a vital role in overall well-being. Always see the big picture and keep a good perspective, a single food or supplement can not make up for an overall poor diet and is only one piece of the whole puzzle. Always focus on nutrition that includes a great variety of wholesome, nutritious, and delicious food, that makes you feel great and strong.
How often is it OK to drink milk?
The frequency of drinking milk depends on individual preferences and dietary needs. For most adults, including 1 to 2 servings of milk or dairy products per day as part of a balanced diet is generally considered safe and beneficial.
Should bodybuilders drink milk?
Yes, milk can be beneficial for bodybuilders. It is a good source of protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients that support muscle growth and recovery. Including milk as part of a well-rounded diet can aid in meeting protein and nutrient requirements for muscle development.
Is it good to have milk at night?
Consuming milk at night can be a personal preference. Some people find it soothing and helpful for sleep due to its content of tryptophan, an amino acid associated with relaxation. However, it's essential to consider individual tolerance, as some may experience discomfort or digestive issues when consuming milk before bedtime.
What are the pros and cons of drinking milk?
Pros of drinking milk include providing essential nutrients like calcium, protein, and vitamins D and B12. It can support bone health, muscle growth, and overall nutrition. However, some cons include lactose intolerance for some individuals and potential allergenic reactions. Additionally, full-fat milk can be high in saturated fat, so choosing low-fat or plant-based alternatives might be preferred by some. As with any food, moderation and individual tolerance are key factors to consider.
9 minute read
8 minute read