Since childhood, milk has always played a huge role in our growth. From providing the much-needed calcium, potassium, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, milk is considered a complete meal. But, do we need cow milk? A lot of controversies surround what milk can and can’t do. To learn the truth about milk, here are seven myths about milk you should stop believing today.
Myth 1: Tetra Pak Milk Has Added Preservatives
Milk fact: Packaged milk has long been associated with added preservatives. However, Tetra Pak packaging uses Ultra Heat Treatment (UHT) technique where all the organisms are killed, hence increasing its shelf life.
This technology ensures that the milk can stay for up to six months if kept at room temperature. And, the good news is that you don’t need to boil it. So, next time you buy milk packed in Tetra Pak, drink it without any worries.
Myth 2: Drinking Plenty of Milk Equals to Stronger Bones
I know. This is what our parents kept telling us while growing up. Perhaps to encourage us to drink more milk.
Milk fact: Our bodies need calcium for strong bones. Despite milk being a good source of calcium, there are other products which provide a higher percentage of calcium than milk. Take chia seeds, for instance. Research shows that they contain up to six times more calcium than dairy milk.
Additionally, a study by BMJ published in 2015 indicates that there is no evidence showing that having high levels of calcium in your body either from supplements or dietary intake prevents fractures. The study goes on to suggest that further research must be conducted to find better ways to maintain strong bones rather than relying on milk.
Myth 3: You Should Avoid Milk If You’re Lactose Intolerant
Lactose intolerance is the inability of your body to fully break down lactose (a natural sugar in milk). This means you can have diarrhea, gas or bloat after you take a glass of milk.
Milk fact: Your body can still process lactose if you take a small serving of milk. There’s a certain percentage of lactose that will exhibit symptoms. However, with the correct dose, you could always take milk even if your body can’t process lactose.
Plus, there are varieties of lactose-free milk in the market today with the same nutritional value and taste like ordinary milk.
Myth 4: You Need Two Glasses of Milk Daily
Milk fact: Admittedly, dairy intake serves an integral part of our diet and gives us the nutritional value we need in our bodies. However, there are other sources of vitamins and proteins like eggs, fruits, and fish you can supplement in your diet for a balanced meal.
Although milk remains the most reliable and convenient source of important nutrients, it’s a choice for your diet rather than a requirement.
Myth 5: Organic Milk is Healthier Than Regular Milk
Milk fact: The only difference comes from the way they are produced. Milk is labeled as organic if the cows producing the milk graze on pasture, are fed organic feed, and are not treated with antibiotics or synthetic hormones.
Regular or conventional milk farmers observe the same stringent safety standards to produce high-quality milk. So long as the drug residue in regular milk is below the tolerance level as tested by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), then the milk is safe for human consumption.
Other than that, they both share similar nutritional value and quality. It all boils down to personal preferences.
Myth 6: Drinking Milk Daily Can Help You Lose Weight
Advertisers use their marketing strategies to make us believe that milk can fight body weight. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Milk fact: Several studies show that dairy products don’t play any part in weight loss. In fact, some studies indicate that you could actually gain weight from dairy products. This, however, is not conclusive and you can continue enjoying your cup of milk as usual.
No evidence directly links weight loss or gain to milk intake. Eating a balanced diet and working out regularly is the proven keep-fit technique.
Myth 7: Raw Milk is More Nutritious Than Processed Milk
More and more people are turning to raw milk with the belief that it’s more nutritious than pasteurized milk.
Milk fact: Pasteurization has helped protect our health for a long time. It’s a process where harmful bacteria such as Listeria and E. coli are killed at high temperatures. The infections from such bacteria can have devastating side effects including diarrhea, body ache, and vomiting among other life-threatening illnesses.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly advice against the consumption of raw milk. For your safety, always ensure that you buy pasteurized milk and other dairy products.
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