Gaspari Nutrition

Laura Prestin

Does Milk Really Do a Body Good?

Many discrepancies have been on the rise about whether or not milk is healthy for the body.  On one side we have been told that milk from cows provides other food sources such as cheese, yogurt, butter and kefir, thus being a great way of receiving protein, vitamin D and calcium.  This may seem like the case, but are you really getting these vitamins and nutrients from the milk that you buy even in the organic section?

First and foremost, not ALL milk is considered to be healthy.  Lets start with the term organic.  'Organic' can be extremely misleading as it may or may not mean no hormones or no antibiotics, or vice versa.  Remember, milk cows are given growth hormones to increase their milk production and antibiotics to decrease infections. These materials become contaminants in the milk and the effect on our body is not entirely known.  Some argue that if the milk is pasteurized, it automatically means healthy.  This once again is not true.  When milk is pasteurized , yes it does decrease the chance of getting milk-born diseases, however it takes away all of the natural vitamins, probiotics, enzymes, and vital nutrients.

This brings me to my next point about processed milks, such as skim, fat free or 1% milk. Reduced fat milk is highly processed in which fats and fat-soluble vitamins that are essential to health, and milk proteins are denatured and actually made toxic to our bodies.

If you are going to continue with milk, make sure you are getting "raw milk' from grass fed-cows.  Raw milk contains protein, amino acids, healthy fats including conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), minerals, vitamins A, D, and most B’s, enzymes and cholesterol. What is tricky about this is that most of us don't have a farm in our backyard so be very smart about labels.

What people may not know is that there are ways to get calcium and vitamin D, such as eating leafy greens, not just dairy, which can cause gastrointestinal problems.  Studies have shown that milk is frequently not tolerated by the gastrointestinal tract [Source: Nowak-Wegrzyn].  Milk can cause bloating, constipation and even reflux. Clinically, milk may also be linked to increased eczema, worsening sinus problems, migraine headaches and joint pain [Source: Grant]

The focus on diary intake usually stresses weight gain, however, there are many other negative effects that need to be taken into consideration.


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