A1 or A2 Milk – Which Is Right For You?

People choosing to live a healthy life have paved the way for healthier living habits. These habits comprise of adopting healthy lifestyle changes like eating healthier foods and indulging in physical activities to name a few. Organic farming has taken the world by storm and dairy industry isn’t far behind. The arguments about organic milk vs. the industrial milk are rife today. And when there’s a mention of organic milk – you cannot miss mentioning A1 and A2 milk. The arguments are in favour of A2 milk but what is it that makes it a better option than A1 milk?

What is Organic Milk?

Organic milk is obtained from cows that are fed with organic fodder and aren’t given antibiotics and growth hormones. These cows are strictly watched to avoid any stray grazing over inorganic or adulterated pastures. The cows that fall sick and need to be treated with antibiotics are then removed from the organic production utility. Organic milk, thus, is obtained from cows that are bred and raised in 100% natural living conditions without any kind of intervention either through consumption of adulterated fodder or medical treatments.

What is A1 and A2 Milk?

Milk, as known, is a great source of calcium and protein. The easiest and healthiest way to introduce calcium and protein in the regular diet is through consumption of milk. Milk is made up of a variety of proteins and casein is the largest group of proteins present in the milk. Casein makes up to 80% of the total protein content in the milk.

A1 and A2 are the two types of beta-casein that make up the large chunk of casein proteins found in milk. Regular milk contains both A1 and A2 beta-casein. The bifurcation of organic milk into A1 and A2 is done on the basis of the breed of the cow. A1 beta-casein is found in the breeds Holstein, British Shorthorn, Friesian and Ayrshire. Whereas, the A2 beta-casein is found in the breeds Jersey, Limousin, Guernsey, and Charolais. 

Why is A2 milk better than A1 milk?

The entire A1 and A2 debate is based on some studies that show the harmful effects of consuming A1 milk and production of Beta-casomorphin-7 (BCM-7) is one of the major reasons behind it.

BCM-7 is produced during the digestion process after consumption of A1 milk. Studies by a select group of researchers, across the globe, suggest that production of BCM-7 in the human body can have adverse effects. Though everyone is not affected by consumption of A1 beta-casein but studies show that a growing number of people are falling prey to the harmful effects of secretion of BCM-7.

According to a study published by the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism in 2012, following are some of the harmful effects of consuming A1 milk:

  1. Delayed psychomotor development in infants

The BCM-7 has been found to travel to the brain through the bloodstream in infants which hampers their motor development skills thereby delaying the process.

  1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

The human body is not acquainted with digestion of BCM-7. This can add to weak gut thereby resulting in IBS in some individuals.

  1. Risk of Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is often found in kids. Researches show that kids who consume A1 milk while growing up are more likely to be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

  1. Coronary Heart Disease

A1 milk has higher fat content than A2 milk. The accumulation of fat in the human body can lead to risk of developing certain heart diseases.

  1. The occurrence of Autism or Schizophrenia in extreme cases

Studies have shown that higher levels of BCM-7 are associated with the ability to perform and plan. The high levels meddle with the brain thereby causing mental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.

  1. Lactose intolerance

Lactose (sugar) intolerance is the inability to digest the sugar consumed by the body completely. Though A1 and A2 milk have the same levels of lactose, studies have found that a number of people find it difficult to digest A1 milk compared to A2 milk. There are numerous researches being conducted on this across the globe. Doctors suggest that A2 milk is the best substitute for lactose intolerant people as A2 beta-casein is easier to digest which makes it a healthier option compared to A1 milk.

It is well established and well-accepted fact that A1 and A2 milk differ in their compositions. However, in India especially, the bigger problem is the way the cows are managed, and the milk is procured – there are a lot of adulterations that happen in the whole process. When the animals are kept in a clean environment, allowed to graze in open farm, soak in the sunlight, and fed only organic fodder, the quality of milk is certainly better.

 

How Much Protein Do You Really Need?

Protein is one of the most essential nutrients required by your body. The human body breaks down the protein into enzymes and amino acids. The cells present in the human body get cytoskeleton from protein, which is used to build up new skeleton muscle.

The moment people hit the gym, they shift to high protein consumption. But little do people realize that as much as protein is important for gaining muscle or losing weight, the quantity of protein consumed by your body plays a vital role in maintaining good health. Excess of anything is harmful and protein is no different. There are different school of thoughts about what should be the ideal protein consumption for a human body.

As per the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) the ideal protein consumption is 0.8g per kilogram of the body weight. This is further bifurcated upon the gender:

  • 46g per day for the average woman
  • 56g per day for the average man

Factors To Consider For Protein Intake

Everybody needs protein. It is one of the essential nutrients required by the body to function properly. Each one of us consumes protein in our daily diet through the regular food. Why’s there a whole market for protein supplements then – you may ask. Let’s read on to find out the answer to your whys.

One needs to take into consideration various factors while deciding the protein intake. Each body is different than the other and so are the body’s nutritional requirements.

Here are some factors to consider while deciding the amount of protein to include in your daily diet:

  1. Gender

An average man consumes around 2,600 calories per day, and a woman consumes around 1,700 calories per day. According to nutritionists, an average healthy man should consume around 3000 calories per day and a woman should consume around 2000 calories. The percentage of protein in the total calorie intake should be between 10-30%. The latter only when you are on a high protein diet and are having an active lifestyle.

  1. Workout and other physical activity

People who are into strength building, heavy workouts and sports need higher amounts of protein to build muscle and stamina. If you have a lower rate of physical activity in your routine, then the amount of protein consumed from the regular diet is enough for your body to maintain the nutritional balance.

  1. Food Habits

Vegetarian food is comparatively lower on protein contents. Vegetarian people who are into bodybuilding, athletics or sports would need to supplement their diet with protein. Animal meat has a high percentage of proteinform of powders hence non-vegetarians can do without supplements. To meet the exceeding protein requirements, the non-vegetarians can increase the animal meat in their diet.

How Much Protein Do You Really Need?

There’s no gym or gym instructor who doesn’t press their clients to give in to protein shakes. You would see every gym selling some sort of protein supplements in the form of powders etc. Don’t fall for the trap that you can’t build muscle or lose weight without going on a high protein diet which is largely dependent upon the protein supplement they are selling.

There’s no denying that one does need protein supplements to build muscle, but not everyone is training to be a bodybuilder or a weightlifter. Before jumping onto the bandwagon, you need to understand your goals and body needs.

Going on a high protein diet often means neglecting or completely eliminating carbohydrates from the diet. Carbohydrates are as important as protein for the body. The body derives its energy from the carbohydrates and when you deprive your body of carbs, you start feeling lethargic and low on energy all the time. One needs to maintain a balance between the protein and carbohydrate intake in their diet.

Excess intake of protein can result in weight gain. The body consumes the protein it requires and stores the excess amount in the form of fats. This results in weight gain. Until and unless you are looking to gain weight or doing high-impact exercise, excess intake of protein can have adverse effects on your workout goals.

Dietary needs vary for every individual. Each body has a different requirement. No two people can have the same or similar results with the same dietary habits. Nutrients are essential for a healthy body but overconsumption of anything can have adverse effects on the body. Working out is just the tip of the iceberg. It won’t bear fruits without a healthy and adequate nutrient supply to the body.

 

Did You Also Believe These Myths About Organic Food?

Like everything else on the Internet, there are a lot of mixed feelings and opinions that people seem to have when it comes to organic food. While the benefits of choosing organic are crystal clear, it’s possible to stumble upon misconstrued information which may be false or manipulated. Such misinformation paints organic food in a negative light. In this blog, we do not wish to convince you that organic food is the best and the negatives you read about it are all lies, rather, all we wish to do is present you with the facts, the unadulterated truth, so that you can make an informed decision for yourself.

Myth #1. “Organic food does not always translate to healthy food”

If you buy a packet of organic urad daland decide to make deep-fried tikkisout of the batter, then it’s obviously not going to do much for you, nutrition wise. The high temperatures will destroy most of the nutrient value, the oil will be laden with saturated fat, and you will lose out on the health benefits. If you take the same urad dal and make a dosawith just a dash of oil on the pan, then you’ll have yourself a healthy meal! One of the biggest myths about organic food is that it’s not automatically healthy, but that’s more because of the way the food is treated, it has more to do with cooking than the food itself. So the health factor is really dependent on how you choose to make your food.

Myth #2: “Pesticides are only harmful to pests, not humans”

If you think that these chemicals are only effective on four-legged pests, think again. A study by the US Library of Medicine stated that pesticide residues have also been detected in human breast milk samples, which raise serious questions and concerns about prenatal exposure and the effects on children. People who work closely with pesticides have recorded suffering from respiratory issues, and also those also affect their reproductive and endocrine systems. High accidental exposures may even result in death.

Myth #3: “Organic food is simply unaffordable”

Of course, organic food can be affordable if you know where to find them. Try your local farmer’s markets, sustainability drives and online superstores to find genuine, organic foods. And if the price point is a marginally higher than generic brands, understand that you are paying for the assurance and safety of a certification. It’s far from easy to get certified by the USDA, but if a brand is certified, then you can rest assured that you’re consuming safe, hygienic ingredients.

Myth #4: “Natural and organic mean the same thing”

This is by far the biggest myth. Understand that what makes a brand organic is not the nature of food, but rather the processes of production, sourcing, and manufacturing. For example, doorstep delivered milk can be called “natural” because using that word requires no certification. But calling a brand organic without the certification can have serious consequences as well as legal ramifications. The certification is all about the processes, have the key ingredients been sustainably sourced? Are the cows healthy? Do they have space to roam? Are they grass-fed? Is the grass they are fed with chemical-free? Getting certified requires providing documented evidence for questions like this and more.

Myth #5: “Organic food is not sustainable”

A study conducted by the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), which spanned over 9 years, stated that organic farming is better for the soil matter than conventional, no-till farming. To put things in perspective, just one teaspoon of compost rich organic soil can host over 600 million to 1 billion good bacteria from 15,000 different species. Compare that with chemically-treated soil, where one teaspoon can house barely 100 good bacteria. This is the most pragmatic way to understand the benefits of organic farming on the environment.

Myth #6. “Organic food is tasteless”

This is a common myth that mostly surfaces to organic newcomers. Let’s take an example of milk. If you find that your new brand of organic milk isn’t as rich as your previous milk, it’s because organic is as close to the real thing as it gets. Traditional cartons of milk use emulsifiers and thickening agents to make milk seem creamier and richer, but all of this takes an immense toll on the digestive system. Most people cannot handle such high levels of lactose, which is why organic milk reserves the best natural ingredients and preserves their nutrition through scientific processes.

#Myth #7. “Organic is just a buzzword”

By buying into this myth, you are not only denying yourself the opportunity to be healthier and make wiser health choices, but you are also robbing local, Indian farmers the opportunity to preserve their heritage and make an honest livelihood. India has always been an agriculturally rich nation, but after colonization, farmers were forced to stop the cultivation of indigenous local crops and replace them with cash crops. Now, our farmers are finally getting the support they need to grow local grains like red rice, millets and more. By buying an organic brand, you choose to shop local, to support local farmers and the community. By choosing organic, you are not helping a greedy corporate CEO to buy a fifth holiday home in France, rather, you are helping a local farmer to put food on the table and feed the family. So who would you rather support?

These are the facts about organic food, and we hope that this article has helped you better understand not just the benefits of organic food, but also the impact of organic farming on a holistic scale. Not only is it the best option for your health, but it’s also something that creates jobs and lessens the load on the environment. Remember, when you shop local or organic, you are not just benefitting yourself and your family, but you’re also benefiting the community and the planet as a whole!

Here Is Why Organic Milk Is Better for You Than Regular Milk

The word organic seems to hold a halo of health around it, and for a good reason. More than just a buzzword, organic certifications require a lot of work, it requires implementation of processes that are in harmony with the governing body, and these standards and processes need to be maintained throughout. The stringent tests and monitoring make organic foods of any kind, safer and healthier for human consumption. So when it comes to milk, why is organic better than natural? Here are a few compelling reasons.

It’s better for your heart

Charles Benbrook is an extremely credible research professor at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University. Researchers and students at WSU tested nearly 400 samples of organic and natural milk for a duration of 18 months. One of the notable results of these findings were that organic milk contained significantly higher levels of heart-healthy fatty acids as compared to normal milk.

Healthy cows = healthy milk

When cows are grass-fed, the milk they produce is all the more healthy. Think of it this way, if two human mothers are both lactating, one eats nutritious meals while the other lives on porridge and nothing else, which mother would have healthier milk? It’s the same with cows. Cows that eat more grass have a better fatty acid profile in their milk. Cows which are fed corn or cheaper grains produce milk that’s higher in omega-6 fatty acids. These are bad fatty acids that have been linked to cancer and autoimmune diseases. Organic cows are always grass-fed, making their milk much healthier.

Sustainable shelf life

Since organic milk is sterilized at extremely high temperatures, up to 280 F, the shelf life is significantly increased over standard, pasteurized milk. This is the result of implementing better production processes which are governed by external bodies. The shelf life of normal milk is barely a few days, which also results in a lot of wastage.

So much more than milk, nutrition-wise

Although exceedingly high temperatures have been proved to have a destructive effect on some of the nutrients found in milk, it’s also important to note that organic milk is fortified with added nutrients and minerals, from calcium to B-12, the nutritional value of organic milk is leagues apart from standard milk. There is a natural presence of omega 3 fatty acids which are the good fatty acids. These powerful nutrients work to reduce cardiovascular diseases, better the neurological development and also strengthen the entire immunity system.

Milk that’s free from evil additives

From harmful growth hormones to antibiotics, cows on normal dairy farms are pumped with chemicals to increase the production of milk. This is extremely harmful for human health. The addition, these chemicals have been linked to osteoporosis in women, menstrual disorders in women, and the premature development of the reproductive system in males and females. Organic milk is only infused with the good stuff, and the milk is only fortified after production. This means that the cows are fed on nothing but grass, as nature intended it to be.

Adulteration – a nightmare for milk consumers

If you’ve been following our blogs, you’ll know that the milk that’s delivered to your doorstep, at much lower rates than that of organic milk, is laden with chemicals. Sting operations have revealed that most of the milk in India is unfit for human consumption. From white paint to lead and even hydrogen peroxide, milk is adulterated with all sorts before it reaches you. What’s more is that most of the adulteration happens when unethical farmers try to water the milk down to increase the quantity. This results in the spread of water-borne diseases since the water used is not always the drinking water.

The fodder itself

On most dairy farms, cheap crops such as corn and soy are grown to feed the livestock. In an attempt to maximize the yield of crops, farmers make liberal use of pesticides and insecticides which enter the system of the cows. All of these ultimately trickle down to us, since these dangerous chemicals get poured into the lactation process for the cow. This is why companies that claim to be organic can only use a fixed set of harmless organic manure which is non-toxic to human health.

Last but not least, we would like to mention the packaging, often you’ll find that doorstep delivered milk comes in flimsy plastic packets that can be easily penetrated. Organic milk comes in tetra packs which use tamper-proof technology which means that adulteration is out of the question! In conclusion, when it comes to milk, the choice between organic and natural is fairly clear. For the health of you and your family, choose organic!

Beyond Fitbit, There Is More To Health Management

Health management found an altogether new meaning in 2007 when Fitbit Inc set its foundation in San Francisco. A decade down the line, the world has caught up with the ‘healthy living’ trend and how! What started more as a fad has now become an integral part of people’s lives. There are people who just cannot function without their Fitbit tugging at their wrists! No, we are not exaggerating.

Fitbit came in as a revolutionary product that helped people keep track of their physical activity. It gave birth to a horde of other fitness trackers that let you track your physical/health activities ranging from calorie intake, calories burnt, steps walked, kilometres ran, water intake, sleep et al. You name it and you have a tracker for it today – be it in the form of a wearable gadget or a mobile phone application. These are all great ways to ensure that you are leading a healthy life but have you ever wondered that this is not all that health management is about?

Health management is an umbrella term and tracking physical activities and sleep is just two of the many other aspects that one needs to cater to for a having a healthy mind and body. The fad of fitness trackers and app has made people overlook the bigger picture. Managing health is not only about tracking your steps, calories, or food but also about monitoring your health at regular intervals. Monitoring health is what these apps and trackers don’t provide for. A holistic approach to health management will be tracking as well as monitoring other aspects. Let’s take a look –

Managing Personal Health Record (PHR) History:

Personal Health Record (PHR) is a tool that helps an individual to keep a track of their past and current health and medical history. Unlike the fitness apps and trackers where you live by the day, the PHR is a consolidated data about your entire health history. It helps doctors in tracking your past health record thereby felicitating better and accurate medical care. It keeps track of your diagnosis and treatments which, in turn, helps the doctors in precise analysis and treatment. There are several mobile apps available today which can help you keep track of your personal health record right from the mobile.

Healthcare Advice

Have a stomach ache? Google the symptoms and voila you have stomach cancer! Hasn’t this happened with most of us? Today, Googling about a disease has created more anxiety than the disease itself. With so much of information at our disposal, it becomes difficult to measure the accuracy of it. Reading a couple of articles on the internet cannot provide you with the healthcare advice you need. You need qualified professionals to guide you through. You need access to quality health advice from expert professionals – delivered right on your mobile phone.

Keeping in Touch with Doctors

How many times have you texted your doctor regarding some ailment or post-op follow-up? Innumerable, isn’t it? Ever wondered about how unsystematic you are being regarding such vital information? It becomes difficult not only for you but also for the doctor to keep track of your medical history. You should be able to communicate with the doctor while making your medical information available systematically. You don’t need to visit the doctor nor do you need to worry about losing track of your vital medical information. Everything should be placed systematically under your health profile.

Locating Doctors, Labs & Other Medical Facilities

Just like apps wherein you review restaurants, how about an app where you can review doctors, labs, X-ray and MRI centres etc? We seek reviews from acquaintances and friends before finalizing a doctor or accessing any other medical facility. But, what if you are stuck in a new city with no reliable acquaintance? In such situations, it helps to have an app more like an online directory that recommends and reviews doctors, hospitals, labs and other medical centres.

Good Diet & Exercise

Completing 10k steps every day on your fitness tracker doesn’t mean that you have met your exercise quota nor does consuming food with limited calorie ensures you are having a good and healthy diet. Exercise and a good diet are well beyond that. One needs to exercise for at least 30 minutes at a stretch. Walking 10k steps over the entire day doesn’t count for exercise. A good diet is imperative in maintaining health and keeping a check on calorie count doesn’t imply good diet. You need to ensure that your diet is meeting your nutrition quota for the day. A good diet should be based on the intake of nutrients more than the calorie count.

The fad of healthy life has skewed the meaning of health management. Losing weight or building muscle doesn’t mean you are fit or healthy. Being healthy is far more than just your outer body. Though it is not bad to keep a track of your day to day physical activities and eating habits, one needs to focus on the rest of the above-mentioned aspects as well in order to achieve a perfectly healthy mind and body.