According to many experts, cow’s milk is a healthy part of any balanced diet and is especially important for building and preserving strong bones. But many people in the scientific, academic, and nutrition community question if it’s a healthy choice. In this essay I am going to present the case that cow’s milk is healthy.
The main reason why health experts around the world advocate for cow’s milk is due to its calcium content. Calcium is a vital nutrient that builds and maintains bone mass, as well as contributing to healthy teeth. Milk is a prime source of calcium, which makes it the top recommended food for a healthy skeleton.
However, calcium isn’t the only nutrient that makes milk such a good choice. It’s also rich in protein, which plays a role in virtually every bodily function, from healthy muscles to adequate energy levels to production of hormones. Protein comes primarily from animal foods, which makes milk a great choice for reaching daily intake recommendations.
Vitamin D is another nutrient found in milk and milk products. This is a nutrient that is hard to get in the right amount from food. Fortified milk is one of the main sources in the diets of many cultures. The primary function of vitamin D is that it helps maintain calcium levels, contributing to healthy bones. Vitamin D fortified yogurt can be added to a meal plan to satisfy the daily quota.
When choosing milk products, it’s a good idea to choose low-fat or fat-free options. This helps to control saturated fat intake, which is important for reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems. A diet rich in low-fat or fat-free milk products has been shown in studies to reduce the risk of heart issues, including heart attack. It’s also been linked to lower blood pressure in at risk adults, which is an important way to protect heart health.
In addition, a diet that includes adequate amounts of low-fat or fat-free milk can also reduce the risk of diabetes. For someone at risk of the condition, it makes sense to make the switch to lower fat versions where possible.
Milk is especially important in the diets of children because their bones are still developing and building in mass. Most pediatricians recommend offering cow’s milk to children after the age of one, making the switch to low fat versions once a child has reached his second birthday. Adequate milk intake in childhood can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis in adulthood.
In some cases, milk is not a healthy choice, however. For people with a lactose intolerance, drinking milk can produce unpleasant digestive disturbances. For individuals with a milk allergy, consuming anything that contains milk can cause a deadly allergic reaction. For these people, it’s vital to avoid milk and get their calcium and vitamin D from other food sources or a supplement.
Other food sources of calcium include seeds, sardines, beans, lentils, almonds, green leafy vegetables and foods fortified with calcium. To get enough vitamin D, a person can add salmon, tuna, egg yolks or other fortified foods to their meal plan. Making sure to replace the nutrients provided by milk is important for good overall health and can help prevent the same issues that milk works to prevent. For vegetarians or vegans, a supplement can help fill the gaps left over after consuming alternate sources of calcium, protein and vitamin D.
The bottom line is that milk is a healthy choice for most people, unless they have a milk allergy or intolerance, it is a good idea to include milk in your meal plan.It’s part of a balanced diet that should also include whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean sources of protein.