Milk has been an integral part of the dietary intake in the Indian culture and being the first thing that a baby consumes after birth – why shouldn’t it be? However, there are many myths surrounding the intake of milk. Some people believe it to be a complete meal to meet the daily nutrition requirement while some believe that milk alone isn’t sufficient or is bad for your health. Whom to believe?
Here, we have debunked some of the common myths surrounding milk intake:
Myth: Milk is the best source of calcium.
Fact: Milk is a rich source of calcium but it certainly isn’t the only sufficient. In order to meet the daily calcium requirement in kids and adults, you cannot simply rely on milk. You would need to add other calcium-rich sources of food to meet the optimum calcium requirement for each meal.
Myth: There’s no limit to the quantity of milk consumption
Fact: Infants and toddlers meet their basic nutrient requirement from milk as it is the only thing that they consume until they start weaning. But after the age of 4, 2-2.5 cups of milk a day is more than sufficient. Excess consumption of milk can be dysenteric in some cases.
Myth: Milk is difficult to digest and causes bloating
Fact: This is not entirely wrong. People who are intolerant to lactose can find it difficult to digest milk. Indigestion further leads to bloating and other digestive issues. Lactose intolerance can set in at any age. Some people can be intolerant to lactose since their beginning years and in some cases, it is developed at a later age.
Myth: Raw milk is nutritious than boiled milk
Fact: No, it is not. Boiling doesn’t take away the nutrients from the milk. In fact, it is better to boil the milk obtained from a local milkman as it can be contaminated. Boiling, in this case, helps in killing the harmful bacteria present in the raw milk.
Myth: Milk is a meal in itself
Fact: Milk is rich in nutrients, but it cannot replace a meal. Milk can be consumed along with a meal. A glass of milk won’t be as filling as a complete meal. It will leave you hungry causing hunger pangs in a short period of time. The body needs other nutrients and minerals to meet its requirements and all of them are not found in milk. Don’t substitute a meal with milk or it can cause nutrition deficiency in the body in the long run.
Myth: Starting the day with a glass of milk is the best thing
Fact: Consuming milk the first thing in the morning can be troublesome for people who suffer from gastric and other digestive issues. Drinking milk on an empty stomach can have an acidic reaction in some people. Accompany your breakfast with a glass of milk.
Myth: Drinking milk gives strong bones
Fact: This myth is based upon the myth that milk is the best source of calcium which is not the case. Milk has rich calcium content but only consuming milk without any other calcium-rich foods won’t give you stronger bones.
Myth: Homogenization and pasteurization destroy the nutrients in milk
Fact: Contrary to the belief that homogenization is a chemical process, it is, in fact, a mechanical process. It has absolutely no effect on the nutrient content of the milk. The process of pasteurization is just for killing germs and not nutrients in the milk.
Myth: Dairy cows are not treated well
Fact: Not always. There are organic milk brands where cows are treated well, are fed good fodder, and they live in open, clean farms.
So is milk healthy or unhealthy?
Milk is the healthiest way to meet the daily nutrient requirements in a human body. Milk is the only thing consumed by a child until it starts weaning. The health benefits of consuming milk are aplenty. The purpose of debunking these milk myths is to educate our readers and to prevent them from falling for these common myths about milk consumption.