The benefits of milk
Posted at 1:21 pm, Tuesday, January 24, 2023
Last week, we learned some healthy benefits and surprising facts about milk. Let’s continue with some more information.
Did you know that dairy farmers and workers follow several steps to ensure the sanitary collection of milk from dairy cows? In fact, human hands never touch the milk as it travels from cow to consumer. After the milk is collected, it is pasteurized. Pasteurization is a process whereby raw milk is heated to specific temperatures for a set period of time to kill harmful bacteria. In addition, it should be noted that pasteurization of milk does not cause lactose intolerance or allergic reactions.
As stated in last week’s article, it’s a myth that milk has no nutritional value. Here are some more of the healthy benefits of milk.
Weight control: Did you know that milk is great for anyone trying to lose body fat? That’s right. Having a glass of milk can make you feel full, which can satisfy cravings, so you eat less. Additionally, milk contains calcium, and calcium is a boosting factor in fat metabolism as it provides small increases in thermogenesis, the body’s core temperature.
Reduced risk of cancer: Milk contains the mineral calcium and vitamin D, two nutrients that may help protect against cancer. Calcium can protect the lining of the intestine to reduce the risk of colon or rectal cancer. Vitamin D may play a role in cell regulation, which may decrease tumor invasiveness and propensity to metastasize. It may help protect against colon cancer and possibly prostate and breast cancer. However, high levels of vitamin D have been linked to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
Proper hydration: Milk can sometimes seem thick and creamy, but it’s actually 87% water, which means it’s great for hydration. In fact, one study found that after drinking milk, volunteers produced less urine (and therefore retained more fluid) than they did with water or even sports drinks. Therefore, milk was considered to provide superior hydration.
heart health: Overall, evidence indicates that milk and dairy products are not associated with increased cardiovascular risk, regardless of their fat content. In fact, several studies have linked the inclusion of low-fat and non-fat dairy in the diet with a reduced risk of not only cardiovascular disease, but also type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
Loaded with nutrition: In addition to protein, calcium and vitamin D (added during processing), milk is a rich source of other nutrients, including vitamin A (also added during processing), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B12, potassium and phosphorus.
Great for post-exercise recovery: Within half an hour after training, the body can absorb its maximum amount of carbohydrates. This makes low-fat chocolate milk the perfect exercise recovery drink. That’s right, in addition to the protein and water content, chocolate sugars and natural lactose (milk sugar) help replenish glycogen stores. Glycogen is to you what starch is to a potato. It’s animal sugar, a stored form of glucose, that fuels your muscles and brain.
Helps with emotional and mental health: The nutrients in milk help keep your brain happy. A study of more than 1,000 adults in Japan found that those who consumed a higher amount of low-fat milk and yogurt were less likely to develop symptoms of depression. Another Norwegian study found that those taking vitamin D found it in milk. were less depressed than those who were not.
Now some people are lactose intolerant. Lactose is the main sugar found in dairy products. Those suffering from lactose intolerance do not produce enough of the enzyme lactase, which helps to digest lactose. This can be remedied by taking a lactase supplement such as Lactaid or using lactose-free dairy products. Lactose-free milk is made by adding lactase to regular milk.
The average American consumes 18 gallons of milk a year, and the average cow produces 90 cups of milk a day (about 6.3 gallons), or about 200,000 cups of milk in her lifetime.
There are approximately 340-350 udder squirts in a gallon of milk, and adding a pinch of salt or baking soda to each carton as soon as it’s opened will keep the milk fresh for over a week past its expiration date.
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David Crocker is a nutritionist and personal trainer. Questions? Email David at [email protected] or text 864-494-6215.