Milk. White Poison or Healthy Drink?

We will be healthier: why is milk dangerous and is it worth excluding it from your diet?

Today, in his author's column #Dietologist will tell a cardiologist, candidate of medical sciences, a member of the National Society of Nutritionists, the Russian Cardiological Society, doctor WORLD CLASS Romanov Oksana Lishchenko will tell you whether it is worth so much to be afraid of milk of animal origin and in which cases it really needs to be replaced with vegetable.

Let's start with the fact that milk and dairy products belong to one of the main food groups, these are a source of complete protein and easily digestible fat. It is difficult to imagine a full-fledged diet of a modern person without dairy products - milk (including of plant origin), cheeses (mild and unsalted varieties), fermented milk products (low in fat), cottage cheese, yogurt, dairy desserts, and so on.

Milk consists of whey (20%) and casein (80%) - they are also called the source of fast and slow proteins - whey contains many branched-chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, valine), and casein is a longer-lasting source of amino acids, it more often recommended before bedtime. Protein is the main building material for our body, it is especially important for muscles and for creating a beautiful, healthy and athletic body.

We will be healthier: why is milk dangerous and is it worth excluding it from your diet?

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What's in a glass of milk?

With a glass of milk, we get not only proteins, fats, carbohydrates, but also calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium , iron, vitamins A, B1, B2, PP, C, D. Tofu (bean curd), soy milk and other soy products can also be an excellent addition to the diet and a source of high-quality proteins. Cream cheeses, cream, sour cream - these products should not be abused due to their high fat and low calcium content.

For a healthy diet, it is recommended to monitor the amount of saturated fat in dairy products, but completely refuse or significantly limiting them in your diet is wrong. Basically, my fellow nutritionists and I recommend getting protein from animal and plant sources (50% / 50%) - therefore, milk in your diet can be either regular, cow, or any vegetable.

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What kind of plant milk is there?

Animal milk (cow, goat, mare, less often - sheep, deer, buffalo) and vegetable origin:

  • from cereals - oat, buckwheat, rice, etc.,
  • from nuts - almond, coconut, pine, etc.,
  • from seeds - vegetables (pumpkin, melon, watermelon) or flowers (poppy).
  • from legumes - soy, etc.
We will be healthier: why is milk dangerous and is it worth excluding it from your diet?

Photo: Valeria Barinova, Championship

But you need to take into account that when drinking a glass different milk, you get different amounts of protein and it is absorbed by the body in different ways.

Rice and almond milk, for example, contain much less protein than cow and soy. Cow's milk contains lactose (milk sugar) and casein (the main protein in milk) - they cause most of the problems when drinking cow's milk: if you are lactose intolerant or allergic to protein. Mare's milk contains less protein and fat, but more lactose, essential fatty acids and vitamins than cow's milk. Goat milk also contains more essential fatty acids and is easier to digest due to the smaller fat particles.

The main benefits of plant-based milk:

  • lower calories;
  • unusual taste;
  • vegetable milk is a source of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids;
  • rich composition of minerals and vitamins;
  • Suitable for people with lactase deficiency and allergy to cow's milk protein.
This is important : it is necessary to understand that plant-based milk can be contraindicated, for example, if you are gluten intolerant, you should not eat oat milk, and if you are allergic to almonds, almond milk.

How to determine milk intolerance ?

If milk is well tolerated, it can be a daily product in the human diet - up to 300-400 ml per day! But with age, some people do not tolerate fresh cow's milk well, and some people already have milk allergies in childhood. What is milk intolerance, how to recognize it and what to do - we'll figure it out in more detail.

We will be healthier: why is milk dangerous and is it worth excluding it from your diet?


Option 1: True food allergy to cow's milk (due to IgE).

Cow's milk protein allergy is the most common of all food allergies ... Milk contains about 20 proteins with varying degrees of antigenicity: casein, alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin, bovine serum albumin, bovine gamma-globulin, etc. Casein has the lowest antigenic activity, the highest is betta-lactoglobulin. For people who are allergic to a particular protein, it is important to know that, for example, proteins in milk such as bovine serum albumin and alpha-lactalbumin are destroyed after 15-20 minutes of boiling.

Manifestations can be from gastrointestinal intestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea) and skin rashes (urticaria, atopic dermatitis) to respiratory disorders and general anaphylaxis (allergic shock, Quincke's edema). Typically, clinical symptoms appear in 5-10 minutes or 3-4 hoursafter eating. The duration of an allergic reaction ranges from 2-3 hours to 7-10 days.
Occurs more often in childhood, is accompanied by allergies to other foods, dust, flowering plants, etc. It is detected using allergic tests and blood tests - from an allergist ... Treatment in such cases is also prescribed by an allergist.

2nd option: milk intolerance associated with a deficiency of digestive enzymes.

Most often it is an absolute or relative deficiency lactase - an enzyme that breaks down milk sugar (lactose) into 2 monomers: glucose and galactose. Such people do not tolerate milk well, complain of such nonspecific (unfortunately) signs of lactase deficiency as bloating and heaviness in the abdomen (flatulence), rumbling and increased gas formation in the intestines, nausea, belching, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain.

Absolute lactase deficiency reveals a genetic test. The different tolerance of milk and dairy products depends on the polymorphism of the MCM6 gene: for example, the CC or GG genotype indicates lactose intolerance, and the TT, AA, CT, GA genotype indicates that a person can safely drink and assimilate milk. A relative deficiency of lactase occurs in old age or in the presence of problems with the gastrointestinal tract, in such cases it is recommended to use supplements with lactase - a person takes a capsule with lactase while eating food containing dairy products.

Please Note: Lactose can be found not only in cow's milk, but also in products such as cold meats, sauces, hamburgers, mayonnaise, chocolate bars, pureed soups, ready-made packaged foods, and so on. Read labels carefully!

3rd option: the cause of intolerance is metabolic disorders or diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

Poor tolerance to milk and dairy products can be associated with intestinal dysbiosis, intestinal infections, occurs after surgical interventions on the abdominal organs, after antibiotic therapy, with various problems of the digestive system (Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, etc.).

In this case, we recommend contacting a gastroenterologist and after a comprehensive examination and diagnosis, change the diet and choose a treatment.

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General recommendations:

If milk tolerance is not related to genetic factors, then it can be improved by: boiled milk, add it to tea or coffee. In this case, it is useful to get sourdairy products - kefir, fermented baked milk, yogurt, acidophilus (about 200 ml per day, preferably in the evening, before bedtime). Lactic acid bacteria in these products maintain the normal composition of the intestinal microflora, improve the antitoxic function of the liver, and normalize well-being in case of intestinal dysbiosis.

We will be healthier: why is milk dangerous and is it worth excluding it from your diet?

Photo: istockphoto .com

To drink or not drink?

The importance of dairy products as a source of protein in nutrition is determined not only by their amino acid composition (animal proteins contain essential amino acids, unlike plant proteins ), but also the digestibility of protein and its biological value (how high-quality the protein is and is used for the needs of the body). The highest rate of digestion and assimilation is in milk proteins, and the lowest in plant proteins. The general physiological need for protein for the adult population in Russia is as follows: for men - 65-117 grams of protein per day, for women - 58-87 grams of protein per day (based on an average man weighing 70 kg and a woman weighing 60 kg). With an increase in physical activity, in old age, with certain diseases and conditions, this need may be greater.

How to calculate the daily value?

For a long time, the nutrition pyramid was used to assess the balance of the diet. According to this rule, it was recommended to receive at least 3 servings of dairy products daily: for example, 1 glass of milk (or fermented milk products, or yogurt) + 45 grams of cheese + 100-150 grams of cottage cheese. We currently consider it important to have at least one meal a day that consists of dairy products.

In addition, there is a standard for the quality of protein obtained from food, which determines which protein is the highest quality, necessary and important for the body. The maximum this indicator (PDCAAS - the corrected amino acid coefficient of assimilation of proteins - the higher it is, the better) is in casein and egg white (1.0), followed by beef (0.92), beans-peas (0.68), oats ( 0.57), lentils (0.52), peanuts (0.52), wheat (0.40), and so on.

Thus, the presence of dairy products must be in the diet of a healthy person - after all, this is one of the main sources of protein, with normal tolerance, you can choose milk of both animal and plant origin, in any case - try to maintain the diversity and balance of your food. '.

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