is controversial in recent times. They are evaluated by health organizations as essential foods for healthy bones.
But other experts disagree and argue that milk is harmful and should be avoided.
Of course, not all dairy products are the same. They are very different, depending on how the cow is raised and how to process it.
In addition, since it involves almost everything in nutrition, the final impact on health depends on the individual.
Is it natural to eat dairy products?
A common argument against cow's milk products is that their consumption is "unnatural."
This is quite significant because humans are the only species that drinks milk in adulthood and is certainly the only species consuming milk from other animals.
Of course, the biological purpose of cow's milk is to feed young calves. People are not calves and adults often do not need to grow anymore.
Before the agricultural revolution, people were only breastfed when they were babies. They do not consume milk as adults, one of the reasons milk is excluded in strict diets .
Therefore, the evolutionary view that milk is "essential" for optimal health is meaningless.
However, people in some parts of the world have been eating milk for thousands of years and many studies have shown how the gene has changed to accommodate dairy products in the diet .
The story of some of us who are genetically adapting to eating milk is a pretty convincing argument, considering that milk consumption is "natural".
Key thing: Humans are the only species that consumes cow's milk as well as milk from other adult animals. Must come after the human agricultural revolution to start using dairy products.
About three-quarters of the world's population are lactose intolerant
The main type of carbohydrate found in milk is a "milk sugar" is made of two types of glucose and galactose.
As a child, our bodies produce a digestive enzyme called lactase that helps break down lactose from breast milk. But many people lose this ability as adults .
In fact, about 75% of the world's population cannot break down lactose as adults, a phenomenon called .
This picture shows how popular lactose intolerance is in different parts of the world:
As you can see in the picture, lactose intolerance in North America, Europe and Australia is rare, but very popular in Africa, Asia and South America.
People who are lactose intolerant have gastrointestinal symptoms when they consume dairy products. These include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and related symptoms.
However, keep in mind that people who are lactose intolerant can sometimes eat fermented milk (such as yogurt) or high-fat buttermilk products .
Some people may also be allergic to other ingredients in milk such as proteins. This is quite common in children but rarely in adults.
Crux: About half of the world's population is intolerant of lactose, which is the main carbohydrate in dairy products. Most people of Northern European origin can digest lactose without problems.
Milk can be quite nutritious
Dairy products are very nutritious.
Milk contains all these the protein , fatty acids and essential micronutrients for growing calves are developing.
Based on human muscles, our cells and organs are similar to those of calves, which means that dairy products are also a rich source of nutrition for humans.
One cup of milk (244 grams) contains :
- Calcium: 276mg (28% of RDA).
- Vitamin D: 24% of RDA.
- Riboflavin (B2): 26% of RDA.
- Vitamin B12: 18% of RDA.
- Potassium: 10% RDA.
- Phosphorus: 22% of RDA.
It also contains vitamin A, Vitamin B1 and B6, selenium, zinc and magnesium. That's equivalent to 146 calories, 8 grams of fat, 8 grams of high quality animal protein and 13 grams carbohydrates .
Whole milk is actually quite nutritious. Almost everything we need is in it.
Of course there are many different types of milk. Fatty dairy products like cheese and butter have a very different nutritional composition than cow's milk.
Nutritional composition also varies depending on what cows eat and how they are raised, especially when it comes to fat ingredients.
The composition of fat in milk is very complicated, it includes hundreds Different types of fatty acids. Many fatty acids and may have a strong health impact .
Cows are raised in the pasture and fed grass with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids up to more than 500%.
Dairy products of grass fed cows also contain higher levels of fat-soluble vitamins, especially 2, an extremely important nutrient for regulating calcium metabolism and has major benefits for both bone and cardiovascular health ( 11, 12, 13).
Remember that healthy fats and fat-soluble vitamins Not found in low-fat dairy products or whey , things that contain lots of sugar to compensate for the lack of flavor due to fat removal.
Crux: Milk is quite nutritious, but different types have different nutritional ingredients. Milk from grass-fed cows or raised in pastures contains fat-soluble vitamins and beneficial fatty acids.
Milk is an extremely beneficial food for bone
is the main mineral in bone, and milk is the best source of calcium in the diet. Therefore, it is perfectly reasonable to say that milk benefits bones.
In fact, most mainstream health organizations recommend that people consume 2-3 portions of milk a day to supplement their bones with calcium .
But many experts do not think this is a good idea because low-consumption countries often have low rates of osteoporosis, while high-consumption countries (such as the US) often have high rates of osteoporosis.
However, this does not mean that milk causes osteoporosis because these countries are very different.
In fact, dairy products are one of the things that mainstream nutrition understands right.
Most evidence suggests that milk improves bone density, reduces osteoporosis and reduces the risk of fractures in the elderly .
Also, don't forget that milk contains more than just calcium. It also provides many other beneficial bone nutrients such as protein, phosphorus and Vitamin K2 (in the case of whole milk from grass-eating cows).
Crux: Many studies show that dairy products have obvious benefits for bone. It improves bone density in children and reduces the risk of fractures in the elderly.
Whole milk products have been linked to reducing the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes
Whole milk dairy products have some benefits for metabolic processes.
Much contained calories But consumption of whole milk reduces the risk of obesity.
In a review that looked at 16 studies, 11 of them showed that whole milk was linked to reducing obesity, but none of the studies found such an effect in low-fat dairy products .
There is also some evidence that milk fat can reduce the risk of diabetes.
One from Harvard University researchers looked at the amount of metabolized palmitoleic acid (a type of milk fat) floating in their blood.
In this study, those who consumed the most whole milk had less abdominal fat, less inflammation, reduced triglycerides, improved insulin sensitivity and risk of type 2 diabetes is 62% lower .
Some other studies suggest that whole milk is associated with a lower risk of diabetes, but some studies have found no association at all .
Crux: Some studies show that whole milk products are associated with reduced risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, but other studies are not effective.
Dairy products can help fight heart disease. However that depends on the type
Conventional insights suggest that dairy products increase the risk of heart disease because it is high in saturated fat.
However, the myth of saturated fat has been exposed in recent years.
There is really no link between consuming saturated fat and heart disease, at least not for most people .
The effect of milk on the risk of heart disease also varies from country to country, possibly depending on how cows are fed and fed.
The Nurses ’Health Study, a major epidemiology study in the United States, has found that milk fat is associated with an increased risk of heart disease .
However, many other studies show that whole milk cow's milk works against both heart disease and stroke.
Consider a series of 10 studies that most use whole milk to show that milk is associated with a lower risk of stroke and heart events. It also tends to reduce the risk of heart disease but does not have significant statistics .
In countries where cows mainly eat grass, whole milk is associated with a significant reduction in the risk of heart disease and stroke .
For example, an Australian study (where cows mostly eat grass) suggests that those who consume whole milk are at risk for heart disease. 69% lower .
This may be related to high levels of vitamin K2 in dairy products, but studies have shown that milk may improve other pathogens such as blood pressure and inflammation .
The bottom line: Studies of milk and heart disease lead to conflicting results. In countries where cattle graze primarily, whole milk products are associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
Milk, IGF-1, Acne and Prostate Cancer
Cow's milk is known to stimulate the release of insulin and IGF-1 (a factor that helps promote insulin-like growth).
This may be the reason why milk consumption is related increase .
But these hormones are also thought to increase the risk of certain cancers .
Of course, there are many different types of cancer and the relationship between milk and cancer is quite complex .
Some studies suggest that milk is associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer, but an increased risk of prostate cancer .
The relationship with prostate cancer is really weak and inconsistent. Some studies show that up to 34% increase the risk, but other studies do not see any effect .
Note that increasing insulin and IGF-1 is not necessarily bad. If you are trying to get muscle and strength, these hormones can be very helpful .
Crux: Milk can stimulate the development of insulin and IGF-1, leading to increased acne and a higher risk of prostate cancer in some studies. However, it seems that milk helps fight colorectal cancer.
The best dairy products
The best dairy products are whole milk from grass-fed cows or in pastures.
They have much better nutritional value, including more beneficial fatty acids and more fat-soluble vitamins, especially vitamin K2.
Fermented milk products such as yogurt and kefir may be even better. They contain probiotic bacteria c may have many health benefits .
Many people also show their trust . It is not a dairy product yet This is a process that may have some adverse effects on flavor and nutritional composition in milk .
It is clear that the consumption of raw milk is not as some exaggerate.
Many people also said that they could not tolerate normal milk from cows, but tolerated very well goat milk.
Messages to note
When it comes to milk, there are no answers that can be fully met. The health effects seem to be very different for each person.
Some people tolerate cow's milk products while others have mysterious symptoms when they consume it, and others cannot tolerate regular milk but feel great with products. raw milk.
I personally tolerate dairy products and eat organic yogurt from grass-fed cows. I often use butter during meals and sometimes eat cheese. I don't drink milk, but that's just because I've never really had that habit.
If you tolerate cow's milk products and like them, by all means eat them. There is certainly no convincing evidence that people should avoid it and there is quite a bit of evidence to prove it useful.
Just make sure to choose milk High Quality , preferably from grass-fed cows or raised on pastures and whole milk.
Dairy products are low in fat (often contain lots Street ) does not seem to be a good choice. The main metabolic benefits of milk are due to fat components.