29 Jun Is Milk Good or Bad?
By Sheridan Jonas, Contributing Blogger
Recent headlines claiming milk is bad for you has caused a lot of buzz. The Dietary Guideline recommends 3 servings of milk or dairy every day, so does that mean we need to stop drinking milk? Definitely not! Research continues to show just how wonderful milk really is.
Where did This All Start?
The recent study posted by the British Medical Journal created a mass confusion, making folks question what they have been told about milk for centuries. This study looked at the correlation between bone fractures and milk consumptions. The results showed that women who drank more milk had a higher rate of bone fractures. How could this be? What about milk being key for building strong bones?
When interpreting these types of studies you need to remember that this is only one of many. Interestingly, men did not show the same results as women. In fact, they found no correlation with increased fracture rates with men who consumed more milk. Women have a higher risk of osteoporosis than men, which may have contributed to their gender specific results.
Reasons to Love Milk
Although this study caused hype to those who are firm believers, milk continues to be our dietary MVP (most valuable player). In contrast to what the study suggests, bone and heart health, as well as maintaining a healthy weight are all wonderful benefits to milk. Cows milk provides 9 essential nutrients including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, protein, and vitamin D.
Many studies have proven that milk is beneficial and critical to bone health. Protein, Vitamin D, and calcium work together to build strong bones. Milk consumption is particularly important for women because they are 4 times more likely to get osteoporosis than men. Lack of protein and calcium can greatly increase this risk. Postmenopausal women with low protein intake have a 44-percent increased risk of getting osteoporosis, while those with low calcium intake have a 29-percent increased risk. Milk, which contains both protein and calcium, is a great option to decrease this risk.
Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke are also associated with higher milk consumption. Staying at a healthy weight, which also decreases the risk of heart disease, is yet another benefit. Significantly, vitamin D and calcium are hard nutrients to find through alternative food sources if milk is not consumed. Those who consume milk are guaranteed to get sufficient amounts of these nutrients. These countless benefits show that it’s time to put those headlines to rest and love your milk.
Top 5 Way to Enjoy Milk
- Put milk in your hot beverage: Who doesn’t enjoy a warm latte or hot chocolate?
- Add milk to creamy soups: Instead of using high fat heavy cream, substitute whole or 2% milk.
- Blend into your smoothies: Combine nonfat milk with fresh fruit for a boost of good-for-you nutrients including protein.
- Add to oatmeal: Use nonfat milk instead of water to oatmeal or hot cereals.
- Perfect post workout: add chocolate syrup to nonfat or low fat milk for a perfectly balanced post workout snack.
Sheridan Jonas is a senior at Miami University studying dietetics and premed, as well as works as a certified group fitness instructor. She plans on becoming and registered dietitian post-graduation and furthering her passion in nutrition and fitness.