Milk probably is the only food that has all the nutrients to nourish your body irrespective of your age. It is called “the complete meal” because it is said to provide ultimate nutrition. However, 90 percent of people drink milk the wrong way which is why instead of getting benefits from this superfood, they face digestion problems, allergies, skin problems, bloating, weight gain, and other gut-related issues.
This article is a complete guide to using milk. I am telling you the 5 most common reasons that you are drinking milk the wrong way and some ways to fix it too. Besides, if you are lactose intolerant, there are many milk substitutes to fix that too.
So, read on till the end and you might just change the way you have been drinking milk all this while.
Milk Composition/ Milk Nutrition
The nutritional composition of milk is very complex and this superfood might just contain every essential nutrient that your body needs. For example, One cup or 240 ml of whole milk provides,
- Calories: 149
- Water: 88%
- Protein: 7.7 grams
- Carbs: 11.7 grams
- Sugar: 12.3 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Fat: 8 grams
Milk has an abundance of protein. That means, it provides 1 gram of protein in ounce (30 ml) or 7.7 grams per cup (240 ml.) The milk protein can be divided into two groups that are based on how soluble they are in the water.
Insoluble milk proteins are known as casein, whereas soluble milk protein is called whey protein. Both these proteins are considered to be of great quality consisting of essential amino acids that are easily digestible too.
Casein forms the majority of the protein in milk, that is, at least 80 percent of it. It is further divided into a group of proteins with alpha-protein being the most widely available.
The benefits of casein include its property to increase the absorption of vitamins and minerals like calcium and phosphorous. Besides, it may also help control blood pressure.
The benefits of whey are many like it helps to decrease blood pressure and helps elevated mood during stress. It is also an excellent option for maintaining and growing muscles and strength and so, it is a popular supplement choice amongst bodybuilders and athletes.
Whole milk that comes straight from the cow and is without any foreign substance is around 4% fat. In many countries, the quality of milk is based on its fat content. In the United States, whole milk is 3.25% fat, reduced-fat milk is 2% fat, and low-fat milk or skimmed milk is 1% fat.
What makes milk fat one of the most complex natural fat is that it contains more than 400 different types of fatty acids. The largest kind of fatty acid present in milk is formed by saturated fats which makes for 70 percent of it.
Polyunsaturated fats are the least present, making for up to 2.3 percent of the total fat content.
The rest of the fat content is filled in by monounsaturated fats that make about 28% of the total fat content.
In addition to this, trans fats are naturally found in dairy products. However, in huge contrast to the kind of trans fats found in processed foods, the trans fats in dairy or the ruminant trans fats are considered healthy for body and mind.
The types of trans fats that milk contain are vaccenic acid and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA has already attracted a lot of attention due to its acclaimed health benefits.
Carbs in milk makeup just 5 percent of it and are in the form of simple sugar lactose. In the digestive system, it is broken down into glucose and galactose which is then absorbed into the bloodstream and the galactose is converted into glucose by the liver.
Lactose intolerance occurs because some people lack the special enzymes that are essential to break down the lactose.
Vitamins and Minerals
Milk contains every essential nutrient that is necessary for a young calf to develop in the first few months of its life. It is almost the same for human babies too. It has every single minerals and vitamin that are needed by a human being which makes it the most nutritious foods available.
Here’s a little about some vitamins and minerals that are found in especially large amounts in milk:
- Vitamin B12. B12 is mostly found in abundance in the foods of animal origin. Milk, therefore, is one such food rich in B12.
- Calcium. Milk is not only one of the most important sources of calcium but calcium found from milk is also very easily absorbed by the body.
- Riboflavin. Dairy products are one of the biggest sources of riboflavin which is alternatively known as Vitamin B2.
- Phosphorus. Dairy products are rich in phosphorous which plays an essential role in how calcium is absorbed by the body and other biological processes.
Sometimes fortified with vitamin D
Fortification is the mechanical process of adding minerals or vitamins to food products. Due to it being a part of public health strategy, fortifying milk products with Vitamin D is mandatory in many countries.
For example, in theUnited States, a cup (240 ml) of fortified milk would contain 65 percent of the daily recommendation for Vitamin D.
More than 50 different kinds of hormones are normally present in cow’s milk, which are crucial for the growth of the newborn calf. With just one exception of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), cow’s milk hormones have no identified consequences in human beings.
IGF-1 is one such hormone that is found in human milk too and the only hormone that can be absorbed by the human body by either cow’s or human’s milk. IGF-1 is essential for regenerative processes in the body.
Another growth hormone is called Bovine hormone which is naturally present in cow’s milk but in smaller quantities. This hormone is only active in cows and not in human beings. Therefore, it does not affect human beings in any way.
Types of Milk
As we have seen above, the fat makes for approximately 3 to 4 percent of the solid content of cow milk, protein about 3.5 percent, and lactose 5 percent, but the total nutritional distribution of cow milk alters depending on the different breeds. For instance, the fat content is normally higher in Bos indicus than B. taurus cattle. The same goes for milk from any other animal.
Buffalo milk has a much higher fat content when compared to that of a cow’s milk. The fat to protein ratio is about 2:1, which is higher than that of cow’s milk and in addition to this, the casein to protein ration is higher too. Due to these higher levels of casein in buffalo’s milk, it is preferred for making cheese (also because the calcium content of casein facilitates cheese making.)
Although camel’s milk has a very similar composition to the cow’s milk, the difference lies in the fact that it has a slightly saltier taste. It is three times richer in Vitamin C than cow’s milk which is beneficial for people living in dry and arid land who can not obtain this vitamin from fruits and vegetables.
This variety of milk is also rich in unsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin Bs. Just like cow’s milk, the actual nutritional composition may vary. For instance, the milk from Bactrian camels has a higher percentage of fat than milk from dromedaries, but the ratios of proteins and lactose are alike. Camel milk is usually consumed in its raw form or fermented.
If you are looking for higher protein content, then you can rely on sheep milk for that. It has higher fat and protein content than goat’s or cow’s milk. However, with it, it also has higher lactose content too. This makes sheep milk appropriate for cheese and yogurt making (just like the milk from buffaloes!)
Sheep milk is mostly found in the Mediterranean regions where most of the milk is turned into yogurt and cheese like pecorino, caciocavallo, and feta cheese.
Goat’s milk has a very similar nutritional composition to that of cow’s milk. It is mostly found in Mediterranean countries and Latin America where it is transformed into cheese. In places like Africa and South Asian countries, it is consumed in raw or fermented form.
Yak Milk looks similar to buffalo milk. It tastes sweet and has a very fragrant smell to it. It has at least 15 to 18 percent of solid content where 5 to 9 percent is that of fat, and 4 to 6 percent is protein. Therefore, it has a higher solid, fat, and protein content than cow and goat milk and is very near to sheep milk in its nutritional composition.
Yak milk is mainly consumed by people who do yak farming in mountainous regions. The milk from yak can be easily processed into other dairy products like butter, cheese, and fermented milk products.
Milk from the horse family, which is also called equine milk, has a very similar composition to donkey milk. Like human breast milk, equine milk is very low in protein, especially caseins, and ashes but rich in lactose. It also contains lower levels of fat and protein as compared to other milk giving species.
Due to its low solid contents, it is not really suitable for making cheese and is consumed in fermented form.
Milk Benefits That You Can’t Ignore
Milk is often dubbed as the complete food and forms a huge part of a diet no matter where a person lives. It is enjoyed plain or with spices like Turmeric or cinnamon and as a part of various desserts and curries.
Loaded with many vitamins and minerals, as we read before, it is one of the most nutritious beverages that one can have. Milk also makes for one of the best sources for proteins for vegetarians.
It is because of all these nutritious benefits, it is regarded as one of the superfoods in Ayurveda. Here are several important health benefits that you can have solely by consuming milk.
Bone Health and Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a condition that is identified due to a decrease in bone density. This is a matter of concern for bone fractures among adults and older people.
One of the main benefits of cow’s milk is to promote bone health even in the young calf. On human beings cow’s milk has a similar effect and drinking it regularly helps to promote a higher bone density. Stronger bone density is linked with the higher calcium and protein content of the milk.
High blood pressure is linked to heart diseases. Consuming dairy products have been associated with a reduced risk of a rise in blood pressure. It is the abundance of calcium, potassium, and magnesium that are found in combination in milk, which is responsible for lowering blood pressure.
Other factors that play a part in lowering blood pressure are peptides that are formed during the digestion of casein.
It’s A Good Source of Quality Protein
Milk is a rich source of protein. In just one cup of milk, it contains 8 grams of protein. Protein is a necessary nutrient for many functions in the body that includes the growth and repair of muscles, cellular repair, and regulation of the immune system.
There are nine essential amino acids that are found in protein and milk contains all nine of them. That is why milk is also called the source for “complete protein” which is necessary for your body to function perfectly.
The two main proteins found in milk are – casein and whey protein which are high-quality sources of protein. While casein makes the majority of protein in cow’s milk, comprising 80 percent of the protein content, Whey accounts for the remaining 20 percent of it.
The branched chained amino acids or BCAAs that are found in whey helps in building muscles, preventing muscle tiredness and muscle loss. It is the optimal source of fuel during strenuous workouts.
Fear that you will suffer from muscle loss as your age increases? Drink a glass of milk every day to combat this situation and delay muscle loss. Higher consumption of milk and its products have been related to a greater muscle mass as well as improved physical performance in adults. Athletes who make milk a part of their diet recovers from muscle injuries well in advance.
Make milk a part of your post-workout meal if you want to decrease muscle damage, increase muscle repair and strength, and decrease the soreness in muscles. Besides, it also makes for a natural alternative to highly processed protein drins that are available in the market as a post-workout recovery gimmick.
Helps Prevent Weight Gain
Want to lose weight? Try drinking at least a glass full of milk every day. Various studies have shown that regular intake of milk is associated with a lower risk of obesity among people. However, the benefit is not associated with skim milk or low-fat milk, but whole milk. A study found out that higher the milk fat content, lower the risk of obesity in children.
Another study showed that consuming full-fat dairy products by middle-aged men and women showed a lower risk of obesity and lesser weight gain. This is because milk contains a variety of components that may help to lose weight instead of weight gain.
For instance, the higher protein and fat content help you to feel full for a longer period of time thus preventing snacking between the meals and prevents overeating. In addition to this, the conjugated linoleic acid in milk has been observed to actually boost weight loss by helping in breaking down fat cells and inhibiting fat production.
Evidence suggests that diets associated with higher calcium components have a lower risk of obesity and weight gain. Calcium supports fat loss by breaking down fat cells and inhibits fat absorption in the body.
If you are not really a fan of drinking a glass of plain milk, there are other dairy products that have similar properties that will help you achieve your target goal. For instance, try having unsweetened yogurt made from whole milk that contains the same nutrition profile. Yogurt is a healthy and flexible ingredient to be used in many dishes and especially in dips and toppings.
Possible Adverse Effects Of Milk
The effects of consuming milk and its products are on health are varied and complex. While some components in milk are exceptionally beneficial, others may have the opposite effects.
Lactose is the sugar that is found in the milk and is the main source of carbs present in it too. When consumed, it is broken down into glucose and galactose in the digestive tract. There are many people in the world who lose the ability to digest lactose after childhood. This is known as developing lactose intolerance.
Almost 75 percent of the people in the world suffer from lactose intolerance and it varies deeply on the genetic makeup of a person. While it is most prominent in parts of Asia, Africa, and South America with at least 65 to 95 percent of people affected with it, it is least common in people from Northern Europe with only about 5 to 15 percent of people affected by it.
In people with lactose intolerance, the lactase is not totally digested and when it passes down to the colon, it starts to ferment due to the bacteria present in it.
This fermentation process leads to the formation of short-chain fatty acids which further leads to the production of gases such as methane and carbon dioxide.
The most common symptoms that are associated with lactose intolerance include gas, bloating, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
Milk allergy is not much common in adults as it is in children. These allergic reactions are caused due to the presence of the whey protein called Alpha-lactalbumin and beta-lactoglobulin, but they can also be caused due to the presence of caseins.
A few major symptoms that are associated with milk allergy are skin rash, swelling, breathing problems, vomiting, diarrhea, and blood in stools.
Acne, which is a common skin disease identified by the growth of pimples, especially on the face, chest, and back, is commonly associated with the consumption of milk and milk products. This is because a high milk consumption is known to increase the levels of insulin-like growth factor, a type of hormone that is associated with the production of acne.
Milk and Cancer
Many observations have been made that have looked into any associations between milk and cancer but so far, a fair share of these studies has withdrawn fewer conclusions.
Similarly, while on one hand, some studies show that high dairy consumption may increase the risk of prostate cancer in men, on the other hand, many links have been made between consumption of dairy and a lower risk of colorectal cancer.
To be on the safer side and as a general recommendation, moderation is the key when it comes to consuming milk and milk products. Excessive consumption must be avoided in any case.
The 5 Reasons You Are Drinking Milk The Wrong Way
Having Milk Along With Meals
Milk is said to be a complete meal in itself but we sometimes drink it with our main meal, or right after it. Having two meals would, therefore, put undue pressure on the digestive system.
Make sure you have a gap of 2 to 3 hours between that glass of milk and your main meal.
Having Milk With Salty Foods
If you enjoy having anything salty with your glass of milk (like crackers, burgers with a milkshake, or bagels!) or add milk into your curries, it is just damaging your digestive system from within. According to Ayurveda, milk and salt are two food groups that are not compatible which cause unnecessary reactions in the body the ill effects of which can be seen directly on the skin.
No matter how many skincare processes you follow, combining milk and salt will completely ruin it for you.
Drinking Cold Milk
Now who doesn’t love a glass of chilled milk, especially during the summers? Probably no one can resist a good cold coffee or a tall glass of milkshake either. However, as the temperature of milk falls, it becomes much heavier because of all the fat content that it already has.
It thus becomes difficult for us to digest chilled milk and can lead to many digestive issues including bloating and constipation. Therefore try and drink your milk when it is at room temperature, or just warm it up. Heating the milk also changes its molecular structure such that it becomes easier to digest!
Adding Sugar To Milk
Milk is naturally sweet because of the lactose that is present which is a kind of sugar. Adding some table or refined sugar, which is highly processed and full of chemicals, hinders the absorption of nutrients and minerals from the milk. n addition to it, it also makes it hard to digest by the body.
Also, sugar is higher in calories (all of which are considered to be “empty calories”) and may lead to gain weight.
Here are my healthiest choice for sugar substitutes that you can add safety to your milk: 5 Sugar Substitutes You Can Try
Combing Milk With Fruits
The most common mistake that people make is to combine milk with fruits. However, the truth is that most of the fruits are actually incompatible with milk, especially those fruits that are sour or bitter, like lemon, apple, or oranges, etc. Interestingly, the only exception of the sour fruit is gooseberry (Amla) that can be combined with milk.
You can add milk with sweet fruits like banana, mango, and dates only if you are sure that they are unprocessed and purely sweet. Nonetheless, combining milk and banana is quite heavy on the digestive system. So observe how your body responds to it.
How To Drink Milk To Get Maximum Benefits
- Milk should be consumed warm.
- Drink milk while sitting.
- Stand and drink milk only if you are constipated or facing a digestive issue.
- Milk is best enjoyed without any else, that is, plain.
The Best Time To Drink Milk
According to Ayurveda, there are specific time periods when milk should be consumed in order to have maximum benefits out of it. Similarly, it also has time frames when you must avoid them.
There are two schools of thought here. The first one says that milk should be consumed n the morning in order to build muscles and for building up your body. Otherwise, it must be consumed at night. It can be consumed with herbs such as turmeric for better healing, Ashwagandha for better sleep, and a memory boost and Triphala that improves eyesight.
Suggested Read: 13 Amazing Turmeric Benefits For Healing
Although no specific time can harm much, the best period is between evening to bedtime at night.
There is another reason why one must avoid milk in the morning and that is because milk is naturally heavy to digest. It makes you lethargic. Drinking milk right after morning exercises can even increase acidity in the body. The best way is to have milk alone, without any accompaniments.
Besides this, milk is packed with calcium and other vitamins and minerals and because the activity levels are much less at night, all these nutrients are much easier to be absorbed by the body. For someone who is looking to increase muscles may also benefit from drinking whole milk at nighttime.
Suggested Read: 6 Ways You Can Make Sticking To Healthy Eating Habits Easy
While modern nutritionists have raised an alarm against eating or drinking anything before bedtime (as it prevents the brain from powering down,) Ayurveda has always espoused this theory of having milk right before bedtime to induce sleep and for its digestive properties. To be on the safer side, you can even have milk later in the evening. The point is, to make it a part of your diet every single day.
Milk Substitutes For Lactose Intolerant
While milk may be a great choice for some people, it has adverse effects on others who can not digest it well. Many of these people can not tolerate milk because they can not digest lactose which is found in milk and other dairy products.
There are others who do not choose to make milk or milk products a part of their lifestyle because of some dietary restrictions, health conditions or ethical reasons.
Either way, because many people have chosen to give up on milk increasingly these days, it has lead to an increase in a wide variety of non-dairy or lactose-free milk alternatives.
This has led to a wide variety of non-dairy milk alternatives, including:
Made from blending almonds with water, this plant-based alternative is quite low in calories and fat than the regular cow’s milk.
This tropical drink has been in use for years and is popular because of its creamy texture and sweet flavor. It is made by blending coconut flesh and water.
To make cashew milk, all you need to do is combine cashew and water and blend it until it forms a smooth mixture. Strain it to get your creamy cashew milk.
Soy milk is a great substitute for dairy because it contains a huge amount of protein (as in cow’s milk) without the presence of lactose.
This dairy alternative is made from soaked hemp seeds and is rich in high quality, plant-based protein.
Oat milk is one of the most favorite milk alternatives as it is mild in taste but has a thicker and creamier consistency. It is a great addition to coffee.
Rice milk turns out to be a great option for those with allergies and intolerance, as it’s the least allergenic of all dairy milk alternatives.
The only concern is that you must look out for additives while choosing your non-dairy milk from the supermarket. Many of the boxed milk substitutes contain sweeteners, artificial flavors, preservatives, and thickening agents that ruin the health benefits. Instead you can try and make your non-dairy milk substitute at home.
Suggested Read: An Easy Guide To Homemade Nut Milk and Seed Milk
Choosing a product like milk alternatives is a great choice when it has limited ingredients. Read the labels to make sure that you are choosing the best option for yourself.
If possible, try to stick to the unsweetened and unflavored variety to reap maximum health benefits and avoid unnecessary sugar in your system
Uses of Milk
Milk is a nutritious drink that has a number of health benefits, but it is not really everyone’s cup of tea to have a glass of plain milk every day.
Luckily, it is a versatile ingredient that can be added to numerous other recipes. Aside from drinking plain milk, here are some ideas that you can use to incorporate milk in your diet:
- Smoothies: Milk makes for an excellent choice when it comes to making protein-based smoothies with lots of greens and fruits. Try making wonderful smoothies including milk substitutes and yogurt for a great evening snack.
- Oatmeal: Milk makes for a more tasty and much nutritious alternate to plain water while making oats or for your morning cereals.
- Coffee: Adding a little milk to try tea or coffee will not only make it a bit more nutritious but also make it more filling.
- Soups: Try adding milk to your soups and stews for a bit of more flavor and of course, added benefits.
Ghee Butter/ Clarified Butter
Ghee or clarified butter, or what is now called “ghee butter” is a staple traditional Indian cooking and Ayurvedic medicine. We call it medicine because the ghee benefits are incredible. The ghee butter is made through a simple process of boiling butter and discarding off the animal protein, which is also called the casein and whey protein and the milk solids, discarding which also eliminates the lactose.) The remainder of what’s left is called ghee or clarified butter.
Suggested Read: 4 Amazing Ghee Benefits (Why Not To Fear Ghee)
You can try ghee as a dairy free alternative for baking.
Here are some of my suggestions for using ghee:
- Healthy 3-Ingredients Desserts
- Vegan Zucchini Bread That’ll Save You 100 Calories!
- How To Make A Healthy Sweet Bread With Basic Ingredients
Meanwhile, do give making nut or seed milk at home a shot.
Healthiest Milk Option
When it comes to buying milk alternatives, dairy aisles have seen an explosion in varieties of them. But choosing one out of them is not about which one has the lowest fat content. Whether you are switching to milk alternatives for health reasons or dietary preferences or just simply want to experiment by adding a variety of flavors in your diet, you might wonder which one of them is the healthiest of all.
Here are seven of the best milk and milk substitutes with their health quotient in check:
Hemp milk is made by blending ground, soaked hemp seeds, that do not contain the psychoactive part of the Cannabis sativa plant. The hemp seeds are high in protein and both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Hemp milk also has the highest amount of these nutrients than other plant-based milk alternatives.
An 8-ounce (240-ml) serving of hemp milk provides the following:
- Calories: 60
- Protein: 3 grams
- Carbs: 0 grams
- Fat: 5 grams
- Phosphorus: 25% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Calcium: 20% of the DV
- Magnesium: 15% of the DV
- Iron: 10% of the DV
Although hemp milk is free of carbs, some brands do add some sort of sweetener which raises the carb content. So if you want to keep the carb levels low, check out the ingredient label before you buy your plant-based milk alternative.
There are forms of sugar that might have a mention on the ingredients list. They are brown rice syrup, evaporated cane juice, or cane sugar.
Although having a hearty bowl of oatmeal right in the morning may not offer the same nutritional benefits as oat milk made from soaked and blended oats, it is still somewhat nutritious.
Oat milk is sweet because of the naturally sweet flavor of the oats but is high in carbs. Because of the presence of soluble fiber, oat milk is a lot creamier than other plant-based milk options.
Soluble fiber absorbs a lot of water and turns into a gel-like consistency during digestion which helps slow down the entire digestion process and keep you full for longer periods of time. It can also help in stabilizing the blood sugar levels. In addition to this, the soluble fiber in oat milk may also help reduce cholesterol levels. Specific results have been seen in the lowering of bad cholesterol levels or LDL.
The nutritional value of oat milk may vary according to different brands and whether or not it is fortified but an 8-ounce (240-ml) serving of oat milk provides the following:
- Calories: 120
- Protein: 3 grams
- Carbs: 16 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Fat: 5 grams
- Vitamin B12: 50% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 46% of the DV
- Calcium: 27% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 22% of the DV
- Vitamin D: 18% of the DV
- Vitamin A: 18% of the DV
Almond milk is one of the most popular choices when it comes to plant-based milk substitutes. It is made by blending soaked almonds with water and then straining out the solid contents.
Although it makes for a tasty dairy-free milk alternative for people who either can not digest milk or choose not to because of personal reasons, but make sure that you are not allergic to tree nut before trying it out.
Unsweetened almond milk is low in calories than ordinary cow’s milk and makes for a great option for people who want to lose weight. Since it is also low in carbs, you can choose this milk option for a low carb diet too.
Many brand do add flavors and sweeteners so make sure that you read the labels before you make your purchase.
Although almond milk is great if you are looking for getting some vitamin E in our diet, it is low in protein and other vital nutrients. Many brands are trying to sell a fortified version of it but the number of vitamins and minerals can vary.
On average, an 8-ounce (240 ml) serving of unsweetened almond milk provides the following nutrients:
- Calories: 41
- Protein: 1 gram
- Carbs: 2 grams
- Fat: 3 grams
- Vitamin E: 50% of the DV
Many brands contain additives like carrageenan to thicken the milk and prevent separation. While many debates are all over the internet about carrageenan promoting intentional inflammation and gut damage, there are not many reports to support it. The tests too, are only conducted on animals.
Coconut milk is obtained by squeezing the flesh of the coconut to get its milk. The flavor profile of coconut milk is pleasant and sweet. It is a great milk alternative and even suitable if you have a tree nut allergy.
Packaged coconut milk is added with water to give it a consistency similar to cow’s milk. It has lesser protein content than oat milk but is fortified with nutrients by many brands.
Because canned coconut milk is higher in fat and has a distinctive coconut flavor to it, it is used for culinary purposes most of the time.
An 8-ounce (240-ml) serving of unsweetened coconut milk provides the following nutrients:
- Calories: 46
- Protein: none
- Carbs: 1 gram
- Fat: 4 grams
Although coconut milk has much higher fat content than other plant-based milk alternatives, it contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconuts which are linked to some heart health benefits, such as higher HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
Some brands are also fortified with nutrients like vitamins B12, D, and A, as well as some minerals. The kind and amount of nutrients added can be different according to specific brands, so make sure that you are comparing the labels.
Suggested Read: 6 Reasons That Are Making Healthy Eating Too Complicated
Cow’s milk is one of the most commonly consumed forms of milk. It has a great amount of high-quality protein too. Naturally rich in various vitamins and minerals, it is usually fortified with Vitamin A and D as well. It is nutritious for both children and adults.
An 8-ounce (240-ml) serving of whole milk provides the following nutrients:
- Calories: 149
- Protein: 8 grams
- Carbs: 12 grams
- Fat: 8 grams
- Vitamin D: 24% of the DV
- Calcium: 28% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 26% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 22% of the DV
- Vitamin B12: 18% of the DV
- Selenium: 13% of the DV
- Potassium: 10% of the DV
Even though it is one of the most nutritious foods known to mankind, it is a common allergen. While most children overgrow it, many adults suffer it for a lifetime and have to avoid cow’s milk and other dairy products.
In addition to this, it has been estimated that at least 65% of the population has some degree of difficulty digesting lactose, a type of sugar in cow’s milk.
Approximately 80 percent of the protein that is found in cow’s milk comes from casein. Most cows produce milk that has two types of casein called, A1 beta-casein and A2 beta-casein.
When A1 beta-casein is digested, a peptide called beta-casomorphin-7 (BCM-7) is produced. It’s associated with digestive symptoms that are pretty similar to those of lactose intolerance in some people, including gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
Certain dairy cows give the kind of milk that contains only A2 beta-casein, which doesn’t form the BCM-7 peptide when digested. The A2 Milk Company, therefore, sells A2 milk as an easily digestible option.
In fact, a small study showed that lactose-intolerant people who consumed A2 milk showed fewer signs of discomfort that they faced when drinking regular milk.
Aside from casein, the A2 milk is pretty much comparable to the regular milk that you get from the cows. While it is not a good choice if you are lactose intolerant or allergic to milk protein, it might be a better option if you are facing a milder discomfort after consuming regular milk.
If you look at the nutritional component of soy milk, it comes the closest to cow’s milk. This is mostly because soya bean is a product that is abundant in protein. Besides, it is also fortified so that it can resemble the nutritional profile of milk.
This type of milk is great if you want to go dairy-free but yet want a high protein beverage option for yourself. An 8-ounce (240-ml) serving of unsweetened soy milk provides the following nutrients:
- Calories: 105
- Protein: 6 grams
- Carbs: 12 grams
- Fat: 4 grams
- Vitamin B12: 34% of the DV
- Calcium: 30% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 26% of the DV
- Vitamin D: 26% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 10% of the DV
Soy has always been a topic of discussion because it has been found on multiple occasions that soy has been genetically modified by the herbicide glyphosate.
However, regular consumption of soy products is associated with many health benefits, which include improved cholesterol and blood pressure levels. In addition to this, while there have been claims of soy linked to an increased risk of breast cancer because it mimics estrogen in the human body, scientific studies have suggested otherwise.
There are many brands available in the market that produce organic soymilk, which is made from non-genetically modified organisms (non-GMO) soybeans and free from conventional pesticides and herbicides that are used otherwise.
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