Does milk really do a body good? Well, that depends.
Some people will tell you cutting out dairy is the single best thing you can do for your health. You might lose weight, get clearer skin… experience fewer tummy issues.
But it’s really not that cut and dry…
Sure, if you’re lactose intolerant or have a milk allergy you should avoid dairy at all costs. If you’re not though, a glass of milk could provide some important nutritional benefits. For example, one cup of milk provides you with a significant dose of:
Milk and other dairy products are also an important source of protein, probiotics, vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B6, selenium, zinc and magnesium.
This impressive nutritional profile among other things makes me think dairy may have been unfairly demonized in the health world. And the latest study from researchers in Spain proves my point…
One of the arguments against eating and drinking dairy products is that they raise your risk of cardiovascular disease — and with my family history, that’s something I pay attention to.
But it turns out, this just isn’t so…
Milk does a heart good
Scientists from Spain’s Universitat Jaume I de Castellón and the Spanish Biomedical Research Networking Centre in Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition determined that consuming more dairy doesn’t raise any of the markers typically associated with a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease, like cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose.
And there’s other evidence that dairy isn’t the health-stealing demon it’s been made out to be. Studies have shown:
- Certain types of cheese, like the blue-molded French cheese Roquefort, can protect you from cardiovascular disease.
- Two slices of cheese per day can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Milk contains a protein that helps you sleep soundly. It also contains tryptophan, which encourages your body to release the sleep-inducing hormones melatonin and serotonin.
- Eating cheese as a snack fills you up and ultimately leads you to consume less calories.
Of course, besides lactose intolerance and dairy allergy there is another factor that determines whether or not your cup of milk is helping or hurting your health. And I’m willing to bet that nine times out of 10, it’s this factor that causes the negative health repercussions some people experience with dairy… the quality of your dairy products.
Drinking milk from factory-farmed, corn-fed cows that are pumped full of hormones and antibiotics isn’t going to do your health any favors. But drinking organic milk from cows raised in a pasture eating grass just might. In fact, grass-fed milk has higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer.
The only thing that seems to be missing from a glass of milk that would make it the perfect heart health drink is vitamin K2 and CoQ10, so be sure to supplement to get these vitally important nutrients.
E. Smith, et al. “Associations of the MCM6-rs3754686 proxy for milk intake in Mediterranean and American populations with cardiovascular biomarkers, disease and mortality: Mendelian randomization.” — Scientific Reports, 2016.
“7 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Dairy” — Prevention. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
“Is Dairy Bad For You, or Good? The Milky, Cheesy Truth” — Authority Nutrition. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
“No Whey! 12 Surprising, Persuasive Reasons to Eat Dairy Today” — Reader’s Digest. Retrieved September 30, 2016.