Is Milk Really That Healthy?

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On the one hand, the advertising campaign “Drink milk, you will be great”, on the other – the voices warning that milk is dangerous. To drink or not to drink? Here are 12 arguments for and against milk and the opinion of our experts on each of them.

Is Milk Really That Healthy?
Is Milk Really That Healthy?

The fight for milk will continue until the last drop … (photo: shutterstock.com)

The arguments of opponents of drinking milk are catchy: people are not cows, in nature only newborns drink milk, milk from the carton is no longer milk … At first glance, they make an impression. On the other hand, it is difficult to find a natural drink that would be a richer source of essential nutrients for life. What’s more, milk is one of the three naturally occurring fluids that can quench thirst.People have been drinking cow’s milk for thousands of years. And they live. Maybe it is not worth giving up so easily? Here are the most important arguments for and against milk. Get to know the facts and decide for yourself – to drink or not.

Thesis 1


Milk strengthens the bones

Supporters of milk: Milk is one of the best sources of calcium, needed for building bones and teeth, among other things.

OUR’s opinion: “One glass of milk covers about 1/3 of the daily demand for calcium – says Dr. Marek Szołtysik, nutrition expert. – Calcium is found in milk in combination with casein, which makes it much more available. and phosphorus is in good proportions, and it is the proportion of these two elements that determine the absorption of calcium. ”

Thesis 2

Milk destroys bones

Opponents of milk: Most milk is consumed in the USA and Western Europe and Central and Eastern Europe. In these countries, there are the most cases of osteoporosis, i.e. bone cracking. Conclusion: drinking milk causes osteoporosis.

OUR’s opinion: Somehow, this argument does not convince us. In these regions of the world, people live the longest, so their bones are older. They also have the most cars and TV sets, so maybe it’s cars and televisions that have osteoporosis?

Thesis 3

Milk builds muscles

Supporters of milk: Protein from milk helps to build a muscularity.

OUR’s opinion: the most. Milk contains on average 3.1% of protein, of which the majority (2.5%) is casein, and the remaining part (0.6%) is so-called whey proteins, the same ones found in sports nutrition. Milk proteins contain a complete composition of exogenous amino acids, which means that the body can not produce itself. According to dieters, whey protein is even more valuable than what was considered to be the best egg protein until recently. 

If you have stomach ache after drinking milk, it may mean lactose intolerance. You must stop drinking milk and replace it with, for example, yogurt and kefir.

Thesis 4
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Milk is a great source of vitamins

Followers of milk: Cow’s milk is a great source of vitamins necessary for a man.

OUR’s opinion: That’s true. White drink is a real richness of vitamins , mainly from group B and A and D. Especially important for active people (means for our readers) is vitamin B2, or riboflavin. It is needed in the processes of conversion of fats into energy and to the production of adrenaline. Deficiencies of this vitamin immediately reflect on your well-being, you become drowsy or nervous. So if you have a stressful exam or competition ahead of you, complete B2. In addition to milk and its products, a lot of vitamin B2 is also in the liver of beef and mackerel.

Thesis 5

Milk 0% = 0 values

Opponents of milk: Skimmed milk has virtually no nutritional value.

OUR’s opinion: Exaggeration. Indeed, most of the energy we can recover from milk comes from fats, but let’s not forget about proteins. Neither degreasing nor pasteurizing reduces the amount of protein. The degreasing process actually reduces the amount of fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E and K. However, skim milk can be used during slimming and cardiovascular diseases.

Thesis 6

Milk protects against cancer

Supporters of milk: Regular milk drinking is an effective anti-cancer prophylaxis.

OUR’s opinion: The milk against cancer will not protect you, but in milk it does – attention, because the name will be difficult – conjugated dienes of linoleic acid, i.e. CLA. Many studies have shown that CLA has anticancer properties. Research by Harvard University researchers has also shown that increased intake of calcium and vitamin D reduces the risk of breast cancer in women. Both these substances (vitamin D and calcium) inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells.

But protection against cancer is not everything. Dr Gabriel Fernandes from the University of Texas Health Center showed that increasing CLA in the diet protects against atherosclerosis, osteoporosis and loss of, muscle mass.

Thesis 7

Milk causes allergies

Opponents of milk: Milk is one of the strongest food allergens. So you must avoid it.

OUR’s opinion: Partly true. Milk really belongs to the group of the most sensitizing foods. However, this applies mainly to children. It is with them that after the consumption of milk, allergic reactions often occur, in the form of characteristic efflorescence on the cheeks and diarrhea.

In adults, lactose intolerance is more common. What does it mean? About 10-20% of adult Poles do not have an enzyme that consumes milk sugar – lactose (at the end of the article we publish a test that will let you check if you belong to this group). As a result, lactose reaches the undigested gut, causing gas release, bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhea. If you notice such symptoms after eating milk, it is better to just leave them or put in their place fermented drinks, of which lactose is partially or completely attenuated.

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Thesis 8

Dairy increases resistance

Supporters of milk: Products from milk protect against infections.

OUR’s opinion: That’s right. This applies especially to fermented milk drinks, i.e. yogurt and kefir. “Regular consumption of these products maintains the balance of the gastrointestinal microflora, protecting us from intestinal problems.” Live lactic bacteria stimulate our immune packs and increase resistance to bacterial and viral infections, “says Dr. Szołtysik. One note: yogurt and kefir have a beneficial effect on the immune system only when you eat (drink) regularly.

Thesis 9

A man is not a cow, there are no four stomachs

Opponents of milk: A man is not a cow, there are no four stomachs like her, and the nutritional needs of a small calf are completely different than a human’s. The calf needs a different composition of vitamins, proteins and minerals than man.

OUR’s opinion: It is hard not to agree with the statement that a man is not a cow. On the other hand, the development of this objection is a bit strained. Nobody recommends giving ordinary cow’s milk to babies. It is known that the best food for the newborn is the mother’s food. There is no analogy. The note about four stomachs is also wrong, because the famous four stomachsa are needed cow, not for digesting milk, but grass, and specifically – cellulose.

Following the trail proposed by the opponents of milk, one could protest against eating eg carrots. In the end, man does not hare. A man is not a fox, so he should not eat chicken etc. Could the only “human” food be boiled spinach? As far as we know, no self-respecting animal is moving.

Thesis 10

The milk burns fat

Followers of milk: Milk, and more precisely its products, help in weight loss.

OUR’s Opinion: We know the results of a 6-month study at the University of Tennessee that overweight people who ate three times a day of calcium-rich dairy products lost weight more than those who used almost the same diet but ate only one serving of dairy per day. This is probably true, but we know more effective methods to lose unnecessary kilograms.

Thesis 11

Milk helps on the sick stomach

Supporters of milk: Milk brings relief in some diseases of the digestive tract.

OUR’s opinion: If you do not count those who do not serve milk, because they have so-called lactose intolerance is quite right in this statement. According to Dr. Szołtysik: “Milk fat occurs in the form of a natural emulsion, which determines its good digestibility and assimilation. Nutritionists believe that milk fat is a valuable therapeutic agent, especially in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.”

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Thesis 12

Milk in a carton is no longer milk

Opponents of milk: Milk that we can buy in the store has little to do with real milk. The carton is just white water with no value.

OUR’s opinion: Industrial milk processing (pasteurization and UHT) causes the loss of some components (vitamins and calcium), but these losses usually do not exceed 20%. In return, you get milk that has no bacteria. With ordinary cooking, for example, vegetables, you lose even 30% of vitamins. And somehow no one raises the alarm.


Test: Do you digest lactose?

You think you suffer from lactose intolerance … But can you prove it? Not all people have an enzyme that allows them to digest the lactose contained in milk. It is interesting that the number of people suffering from lactose intolerance varies depending on the region of the world. For example, in Northern and Central European countries, this number reaches 90%, while among Asians and Africans it rarely exceeds 20%. Therefore, if you have guests from China, do not ask them for a milk soup for breakfast.

Practical and distrustful Americans have checked whether it is too easy not to burden milk with responsibility for stomach problems. Doctors at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Minneapolis found that people who thought they were allergic to milk after milk and 2 other drinks with similar looks and flavors, but without lactose, reacted exactly the same. Do you suspect that you are allergic? Check it out.

Step 1: Buy two types of milk. One regular and the other one not containing lactose (you can buy them in health food stores). Transfer them to identical bottles, and let the friend mark them as A and B.

Step 2: For a week, drink on the empty stomach two glasses a day from bottle A and do not eat any other dairy products. Write down all the ailments in the notebook.

Step 3: Stop drinking milk for at least one day.

Step 4: Repeat step 2, only this time drink from bottle B.

Step 5: Compare the notes in the notebook.

There is no difference? If it is not there, it means that you are not allergic to milk. Have you noticed the differences? Leave milk, but eat more yellow cheese (contains little lactose) and drink more yogurts and kefirs. And if you already fancy milk, you can drink a glass a day, just to have a meal. Another food slows down the absorption of lactose and soothes side effects.