Having learned from childhood that milk is a healthy product, we keep pouring it on cornflakes and consume generous servings of cappuccino, without thinking that it may be unhealthy. What are the dangers of drinking milk?
Recent research by the USDA has shown that the average American’s diet consists of milk and dairy products by 30-40% (milkshakes, ice cream, cheese, cottage cheese). This is a very high percentage, especially given the reduction in the diet of fruits and vegetables and the decrease in physical activity.
Many people forget that milk is a product intended, in general, for the nutrition of children, and we continue to drink it as adults, and even in large quantities. Alas, this is not only useless, but also unsafe. First of all, the point is the presence of certain substances in dairy products that do not have the best effect on our health.
What does milk contain?
Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). This hormone-like substance has a stimulating effect, which means that it increases the risk of the formation of benign and malignant tumors (of course, we mean adults, not children). Thanks to modern breeding aimed at increasing milk yield, the amount of IGF in cow’s milk is higher today than it was several decades ago.
Another feature of IGF-1 that is significant for women is skin problems. The substance stimulates the formation of sebum, an excess of which expands the pores (this causes the appearance of acne, comedones and other inflammatory elements), as well as excessive division of skin cells, which leads to hyperkeratosis (thickening of the surface layer of the epidermis).
Milk is considered to be one of the main sources of calcium. Indeed, this product is the most accessible, but calcium is also found in sufficient quantities in other foods – for example, sesame, legumes, and leafy green vegetables. If, nevertheless, you cannot live without milk, choose one with a fat content of 2.5% – it is optimal for the absorption of calcium and fat-soluble vitamins that it contains.
Lactose. The benefits of milk sugar are obvious only for children: it helps the absorption of proteins that children need to grow quickly. With age, the number of enzymes that can break down lactose in humans decreases. In Asians, Hispanics and African Americans, this occurs after 3 years, in Europeans – after 22-23 years. Thus, at a more mature age, Europeans also manifest lactose intolerance (it is believed to be characteristic of 3/4 of the world’s population).
The symptoms of food intolerance are always delayed – they do not appear immediately after consuming the product, as in the case of food allergies – and develop within three days.
Food intolerance can be expressed in cold symptoms (runny nose, cough), joint aches, gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain, flatulence), and manifest itself in the form of nonspecific symptoms (fatigue, headaches, bad breath).
The highest amount of lactose is found in skim and low-fat milk, slightly less in whole milk, followed by yoghurts, ice cream, hard and homemade cheeses. In butter and cream cheeses, there is either no milk sugar at all, or it is present in small quantities.
Casomorphins. These are substances of a protein nature, which are formed in our body from casein milk protein, and act on the body in several ways. First of all, they increase the risks of developing diabetes mellitus by activating histamine, which is extremely active in its free form (in particular, free histamine can cause spasms of the bronchi, stagnation of blood in the capillaries, and provoke puffiness).
Another property of casomorphins is the opioid effect (they reduce anxiety, soothe, and relieve pain). For some people, this can cause a real addiction to dairy products, when they make up 50% or more of the daily diet.
With a reduction in the consumption of dairy products, such people experience a deterioration in mood, increased emotionality, and an intolerable craving for their favorite food. Only specialists – a nutritionist or a psychotherapist – will help to cope with such a problem.
Scientists from the Swedish National Health Service were determined to find out if milk is as good as it is said to be, so they had been studying 61,000 women and 45,000 men for twenty years. They found that, contrary to popular belief, milk consumption does not save you from bone fractures and does not help existing ones heal faster.
Moreover, Professor Karl Michaelsson of Sweden’s Uppsala University observed in a study that the fat in milk reverses the beneficial effects of calcium, increasing the risk of heart attacks.
How much milk can you drink?
There is no universal answer to the sacramental question. Sometimes it is better to exclude it altogether (for example, in the case of an increased risk of developing cancer or diabetes mellitus). In general, the norm in each specific case is individual.
This largely depends on the body’s amount of an enzyme that can break down milk sugar: many can safely drink a glass of milk a day, but other people may rush to the bathroom only after a couple of sips. Focus on your condition.
The same applies to the compatibility of milk with various products – it is variable. Ideally, the body produces various enzymes that can digest nutrients in any combination. Another thing is that this enzyme malfunctions in many people – some enzymes are produced more, others less …
Therefore, someone can easily cope with complex meals without problems, while others cannot. Certain rules for combining products that would be suitable for everyone are nothing more than a myth that has not been proven scientifically. However, for a special category of people, the use of dairy products is not only undesirable but also contraindicated. Only you can make the conclusion whether you belong to this group or not.
Athletes and fans of healthy lifestyles
In the case of a low glycemic index, all dairy products (except for cheese) provoke the production of insulin by the pancreas. In people who are insulin sensitive, this can lead to a sharp drop in blood glucose.
Consequences? Dizziness, obvious weakness, hunger immediately after eating. The people involved in sports and having an active lifestyle must consider this factor. Dairy products are contraindicated before exercising!
Those who are prone to edema
Dairy products can exacerbate the problem: an increased production of insulin increases the concentration in the blood of the adrenal hormone aldosterone, which traps sodium and, as a result, water.
People who are actively losing weight
Overweight people should completely stop drinking milk for some time (at least 2 months). This is due to the fact that obesity is accompanied by a bunch of other diseases, which can aggravate its use.
In fact, for people who want to lose weight, it is better to minimize the consumption of whole milk and reduce the percentage of dairy products in the diet – this will accelerate weight loss, remove excess fluid, and reduce the severity of cellulite.