Milk on cereals, milk in our desserts, milk in beverages and so on – anywhere you go, there is no escaping from milk. And for most of us, milk brings back childhood memories – it was after all our first food. However with the recent controversies surrounding milk, one begins to wonder if drinking milk really is safe anymore.
Before we begin hunting for the truth about milk, let us understand what milk really is: Milk is a translucent liquid secreted in the mammary glands of all mammals during the lactation period. In simpler terms, milk is a nutrient for the new borns. The milk of every species is specific to needs of their offspring, which explains why cow’s milk is so rich in proteins, while a human mother’s milk contains more of antibodies and essential fatty acids.
A wide range of studies suggest that human milk is extremely rich in essential fatty acids, especially Linoleic acid while animal milk has none. Reason is simple: cow’s milk is not designed for humans but for calves.
Cow’s milk, both regular and organic contains up to 59 active hormones, high fat content and hundreds of allergens. And if these were not enough, milk from cows and goats contains high amount of herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics, blood, pus, and a variety of bacteria and viruses.
Sure, homogenization and pasteurization can kill most of the bacteria, but these processes also destroy the nutrients present in the milk. What is left behind is nothing more than a ‘dead beverage’ with high amount of pesticides and other dangerous chemicals in it. Is this what you want to feed your body with?
With that said, the nutritional advantage of milk cannot be ignored either. Researchers at University of Tennessee found that overweight people who drank milk thrice a day lost more belly fat than those whose milk consumption was lower. Also, besides providing high amounts of calcium, milk is one of the best muscle foods too.
Milk proteins can be broken down into – Whey (20%) and Casein (80%). While whey is a ‘fast protein’ and is quickly absorbed into the blood stream, Casein takes time to get digested and offers a steady supply of protein for your body. No wonder, body builders and sportsperson swear by the health benefits of milk.
So what is the best way to obtain the complete nutrition from milk, while keeping the various risks and dangers at bay? Health experts and nutritionists suggest that the best option is to consume milk other than animal’s (goat, cow, camel) milk.