04 August 2009

More on milk

So I still haven't convinced you on the milk, eh?

Your body doesn't require milk after you've passed infancy and it surely doesn't require it from a cow. What about my vitamin D? Don't worry. The vegetables and fish you eat will are good sources vitamin D and our bodies can make it on it's own by using energy from the sun absorbed through the skin. If you are outside for around 15 or 20 minutes a day, you're getting plenty. Calcium? Green, leafy vegetables also provide enough calcium, though not quite as much as recommended by the government. Why? A high carbohydrate diet leads to an acidic pH in your body. The body saps calcium from your bones to compensate for this loss in an attempt to maintain a neutral pH. Not eating 300g of sugar a day? Great. You have no need for a whole lot of extra calcium. Worried about osteoporosis or arthritis? Don't eat 300g of sugar each day.

Now, if you insist on drinking milk, please do not drink skim milk. It is easily one of the most widely consumed food products out there. What exactly is wrong with it? Sure, it's got some protein, but I have two complaints with this worthless beverage.

1. It has no fat. That's right. And that was the whole reason that you thought it was better for you right? Well, we've already learned that sugar spikes blood glucose levels (and therefore insulin) and that fat helps to lessen the amount of insulin needed to keep blood sugar at normal levels. The lactose in milk is in fact a sugar that causes insulin to be released just the same as any other sugar. In addition, as we grow older, our bodies begin to slow production of lactase enzymes, which breakdown the lactose sugar into a usable form.

2. It's fortified. The fat is where the vitamins are. When you skim off all the fat, you skim off the vitamin D and other minerals naturally found in the milk. This process is much akin to refining wheat flour. In a similar fashion, we try to pump the vitamins we took out back in in a process commonly referred to as enriching. It's been proven time and time again that adding these vitamins back in to foods is not nearly as beneficial to the body as leaving them there in the first place (and sometimes worse!).

So basically, skim milk is a sugary, processed, skimmed, and fortified food product (a lot of things we should avoid) and if you insist on drinking milk (which is silly), then please drink whole.

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