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All About Milk

October 03, 2015

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People have been drinking animal milk, these days most commonly cow's milk, for thousands of years, but recently an important question has come to light: is milk really good for you? Milk has a lot going for it; it provides the human body with much needed nutrients, like calcium. Scientists are now questioning, though, whether or not drinking milk is truly beneficial for your health. 

People have been drinking animal milk for thousands of years!People have been drinking animal milk for thousands of years!Courtesy of insidershealth.com

Sugar In Milk

  • It might surprise you to know that milk contains a lot of sugar.
  • Take a slow sip the next time you have a glass of milk and really examine the taste; there's no doubt about it, it's sweet.
  • In a time when, especially in North America, a lot is being done to reduce obesity rates, you'd think that there would be more discussion about the sugar content in milk and whether that much sugar is really healthy for a person. 

Milk is naturally full of sugar!Milk is naturally full of sugar!Courtesy of vibrant-living.ca

Cancer Risk

  • More and more studies are being released that show a possibly correlation between milk consumption and increased cancer risk.
  • This is particularly true for cancers such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer.
  • The reasoning behind these studies is that milk contains growth hormones (these hormones occur naturally in cattle but are sometimes also given to cows by dairy producers) that up the risk of hormone-related cancers.
  • I know it sounds scary, but keep in mind that not every scientist agrees that milk leads to cancer. It's just something to think about.

Dairy consumption has been linked to increased risk of breast cancer. Dairy consumption has been linked to increased risk of breast cancer. Courtesy of innergardenhealth.ca

Bone Health from Milk

  • Milk contains calcium, a nutrient that helps strengthen your bones and teeth.
  • Calcium is a vital part of any diet, and milk is a common way of meeting your body's need for it.
  • Studies have shown, though, that perhaps milk is not the most effective way to ingest calcium, and that milk might actually not be as helpful in keeping our bones healthy as we think.
  • There are many other sources of calcium that can easily be incorporated into your diet. Quinoa, kale, broccoli, soy beans, and okra all contain calcium, and can also contribute to a healthier diet overall. 

Kale is a great way to get calcium, and kale chips are a delicious treat!Kale is a great way to get calcium, and kale chips are a delicious treat!Courtesy of nomnompaleo.com

We know cow's milk is good for calves, but what we're not sure of is whether or not it's good for humans. Many governments endorse dairy products as a healthy part of a balanced diet; for example, the American government recommends 3 glasses of low-fat milk a day for anyone aged 9 and up. As with any health concern, the key here is probably to consume milk in moderation. You don't necessarily have to give up all dairy products, but be mindful of what you eat and drink during the day. 

Have Your Say!

Are you a fan of milk? How much do you think you drink in a day? Our Kidzworld readers want to know!