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Wednesday, 2 November 2022

Myths about drinking milk and related facts


01 Myth: Milk can be replaced with super foods to meet our nutritional needs

Truth: According to  the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Indians require to consume about 300 gms of milk a day to meet a substantial portion of their daily nutritional requires. However, the average Indian per capita consumption is only about half of the same. Indian diet is high in carbohydrates and saturated fats which have led to India being a hots pot for a host of lifestyle diseases, mainly across young adults. Indians even do not consume sufficient nutrient-dense foods which further decrease our nutritional well-being. Milk remains one of the most widely accessible and affordable food products for the Indians at large. Substituting milk entirely with other super foods(leafy greens, fruits, legumes etc) comes at a significant cost which is unaffordable and inaccessible for most. A glass of fortified milk gives about 30% of our daily nutritional requires which other superfoods may not be able to give us with.

02 Myth: Consuming milk can direct to weight gain

Truth: Food fads and a host of observational research studies have directed us to believe that consumption of milk aids to weight gain. There is recently no conclusive study to prove the fact that plain milk is a significant contributor to adult or childhood obesity. A glass of plain milk includes natural forming sugars. Adding sugar-laden food products such as cereal, health drinks etc may make milk more appetizing for kids however the added sugar can contribute to weight gain. Milk is a complete food in itself and in fact, aids our bodies control hunger pangs which is vital to prevent weight gain. Sugary drinks containing fruit juices, on the other hand, include about 9 teaspoons of added sugar while a glass of milk includes about 3 teaspoons of natural sugars. A lesser-known fact about sodas is that they are diuretic and the high dose of caffeine can direct  to dehydration. This compels people to drink big amounts of sodas at a time unlike milk or milk flavored drinks.

03 Myth: All the milk produced includes added chemicals which can be detrimental to nutritional well-being

Truth: It is popular  that milk contains a host of beneficial nutrients like  calcium, protein, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin, vitamins B12, A, D and K. Most of the obtainable current is fortified. A significant chunk of the Indian households currently relies on milkmen to deliver milk. The challenge is that most of this milk is not fortified and could be laden with synthetic chemicals like  oxytocin. Milk fortification aids in replenishing depleted micronutrients like  Vitamin A & D which is done when producing toned or double toned milk. This procedure does not change the appearance or nutrient profile of the milk. Synthetic oxytocin or steroids is often used to increase the milk yield by farmers. However, several private dairies these days focus on ethical sourcing and milk procurement. This does away with the require to artificially inject hormones/steroids or chemicals into the cattle to boost milk production. Ethically sourced milk comes from a cattle which is treated humanely and has a diet which is more nutritious for the cattle. While purchasing or consuming milk evaluate the brand and company to assess if the milk is ethically sourced or not.

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