One minute we're told to drink milk and the next we're advised to avoid it. So which is it?
The answer is the former, as long as it's consumed as part of a balanced diet. Milk is safe to drink, and for most people, it should form an important part of their diet.
Milk is a hugely beneficial food because of its high levels of calcium and vitamin D, both of which are essential for healthy bones and teeth. Without drinking milk, it's easy to become deficient in theses essential nutrients which can have a significant effect on your general levels of health.
Milk also contains significant levels of protein, something which many woman in the UK are failing to get enough of on a daily basis. Protein is the building block for most growth and development in the body.
The main criticisms of milk are centered around its fat content, and the fact that a growing number of people have developed a milk intolerance. However, neither of these actually suggest that milk is bad for you.
A milk allergy, caused when the immune system reacts against the proteins found in milk, is no different from a nut or wheat intolerance. If your body doesn't like it, then don't drink it.
In terms of the fat levels of milk, yes full cream milk is not recommended if you're trying to lose weight. However, skimmed milk is moderation will certainly not have an adverse effect on your waist line.
The typical alternatives to milk should also be considered when evaluating milk's benefits. Milk is obviously preferable to fizzy drinks. Some people believe soya milk is better for you but there is still debate around the consumption of soya products that haven't been fermented. Water is obviously wonderful for you but it doesn't contain the vitamins, minerals and protein that milk provides. And so on, and so on.
Milk may not be perfect but it is difficult to find a suitable alternative. But of course, it's all personal choice. Nobody is forcing you to drink the white stuff. If you still think that milk is bad for you, then simply don't drink it.
Top tip - try the 1% milk found in most major supermarkets as it offers the same creamy taste as whole milk but without the extra calories.
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