Milk is the first food given to a baby and from then on it becomes an integral part of their diet. It is called a complete food because it’s densely rich in nutrients. Milk provides us with proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, potassium and magnesium.
Surprisingly, despite being a superfood, milk has been surrounded by a lot of controversies, making people wonder if they really should be incorporating milk in their diet. With many doctors and even nutritionists (of vegan belief) turning against milk, it is leaving people much more confused. We are told milk is adulterated, can lead to early puberty in your girl or that it is unnecessary for human body (just like animals won’t benefit from a human’s breast milk) or that there are better sources of calcium and other essential nutrients. So should you stop having milk?
Leaving this food can be one the biggest dilemmas, as it becomes a part of our lives as soon as we are born. Nutritionist Kavita Devgan busted all myths surrounding milk in an exclusive chat – here’s the lowdown.
1. Do adults need milk?
Yes, absolutely! Everyone needs milk. In fact, milk should be a non-negotiable part of everyone’s diet. It’s a misconception that only kids need milk and we need to break it.
2. Why do we need milk?
Milk is an important part of the diet. It is a source of complete protein and it also gives us 9 types of amino acids, which is a boon for vegetarians. Milk is loaded with endless nutrients, some of them are calcium, potassium, iodine, magnesium, selenium, zinc, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2, biotin, choline and the list is endless.
3. Is milk important for our bones?
Till we turn 20, our bones lengthen and after that, they strengthen. With the growing age, we need a lot of nutrients to make our bones strong. Here, milk plays a very important role as it comprises of four most important nutrients: protein, phosphate, vitamin D and folate. Apart from that, having milk can actually make one happy. It produces serotonin in the brain, which helps to sleep better and uplift your mood.
4. Is soy and almond milk better?
Well, it depends. If you’re lactose intolerant you actually don’t have a choice. However, most people who are lactose intolerant can easily consume curd and paneer. Unless you have a problem, you must stick to cow milk and try to dabble once in a while for better taste.
5. Is whole milk good for us?
Cholesterol and fat present in the food source is not that harmful. Having said that, one should not worry about having whole milk, as it is actually good for us!
6. Can diabetic people and people suffering from heart disease have milk?
Yes, absolutely. Milk is completely safe for people suffering from diabetes and heart disease. In fact, the fat and cholesterol present in the milk are good for everyone. Unless you have been advised not to have protein, it is safe to have milk. All you need to do is skip the sugar if you have diabetes.
7. Is milk actually a complete food?
Yes, it is as compared to any other food. Milk has all the essential nutrients our body needs. However, it can’t replace a meal. As, it has no fibre, which is an essential part of a complete diet.
8. Boiled or raw, what’s the better way to consume milk?
That completely depends on the packaging of the milk. For tetra packs, you don’t need to boil. However, for normal packs, one definitely needs to boil before consuming.
9. What’s the best time to have milk?
There’s is no best time to have milk. Ideally, it should be consumed in your breakfast and before you go to sleep. For breakfast, the nutrients help to kick start the day, while at night it can help you sleep better.
10. Does adding chocolate powder change the nutrients in milk?
Anything you add to the milk will only enhance the taste. Some powders may have nutrients, but one should always keep the sugar content in check. Too much sugar is not good for anyone, even for the kids.
11. How much milk should kids and adults consume in a day?
For kids, three times a day is good and for adults twice a day will do the needful.
Remember: Cow’s milk is low in saturated fat and is easily digested. It is good for bones, and great for weight loss too. It provides protein and calcium, and is considered good for brain too. Nutritionist Kavita claims that Parag Milk’s Pride of Cow is a healthy choice for parents worrying about quality of milk. Other brands selling cow milk are Amul, Mother Dairy and Patanjali.