Recent research by the USDA showed that the average American's diet consists of 30-40% milk and dairy products (milkshakes, ice cream, cheese, cottage cheese). This is a very high percentage, especially considering the reduction in the diet of fruits and vegetables and the decrease in physical activity. We, Russians, also often forget that milk is a product intended generally for feeding 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 is in milk?
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 action 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, leafy green vegetables. If you still cannot live without milk, choose 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 to the younger generation: it helps the absorption of proteins that children need for rapid growth. With age, the number of enzymes that can break down lactose decreases in humans. For Asians, Hispanics and African Americans, it occurs after 3 years, for Europeans after 22-23 years. That is why, at a more mature age, Europeans manifest the so-called lactose intolerance (it is believed that it is characteristic of 3/4 of the world's population). Symptoms of food intolerances 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 also manifest itself in the form of non-specific symptoms (fatigue, headaches, bad breath). The highest lactose content is skim and low-fat milk, slightly less - whole milk, followed by yoghurts, ice cream, hard and homemade cheeses. But 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 bronchospasm, stagnation of blood in the capillaries, and provoke puffiness). Another property of casomorphins is the opioid effect (they reduce anxiety, soothe, relieve pain). For some people, this can cause a real dependence on dairy products, when they make up 50% or more of the daily diet. With a reduction in the consumption of "milk", such people have a kind of "withdrawal" - a deterioration in mood, increased emotionality, intolerable craving for their favorite food. Only specialists - a dietitian, a psychotherapist, will help to cope with such a problem.
Scientists from the Swedish National Health Service, determined to find out if milk is as good as it is said to be, studied 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. What's more, Professor Karl Michaelson of Sweden's Uppsal University observed during 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 amount in the body of an enzyme that breaks down milk sugar: many can safely drink a glass of milk a day, and even a couple of sips will force someone to run to the bathroom. Focus on well-being. The same applies to the compatibility of milk with various products - it is variable. Ideally, the body produces a variety of enzymes that can digest nutrients in any combination. Another thing is that many have malfunctions in its work - some enzymes are produced more,others are fewer … Therefore, someone can cope with complex meals without problems, and someone can not. Certain rules for combining products that would be suitable for everyone are nothing more than a myth that has not been scientifically proven. But there is a special category of people for whom the use of "milk" is at least undesirable, and as a maximum - contraindicated. The conclusion whether you belong to it or not, you can easily make yourself.
Athletes and lovers of healthy lifestyle. All dairy products (except for cheese) with a low glycemic index provoke the production of insulin by the pancreas. In people who are insulin sensitive, this can lead to a sharp drop in blood glucose. Effects? Dizziness, obvious weakness, hunger immediately after eating. This factor must be taken into account by people involved in sports and leading an active lifestyle - before exercising, "milk" is contraindicated!
Those who are prone to edema. Dairy products can aggravate the problem: the increased production of insulin increases the concentration in the blood of the adrenal hormone aldosterone, which traps sodium and, as a result, water.
Actively losing weight. Overweight people should completely stop drinking milk for a while (at least 2 months). This is due to the fact that obesity is accompanied by a host of other diseases, which can worsen its use. In principle, 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.
About the expert:
Photo: Getty Images
- Choosing the right dairy product: expert advice
- 6 benefits of yogurt for glowing skin
- What to cook from cottage cheese: 4 simple and delicious recipes
- Allergy: where does it come from, what happens and is it possible to get rid of it forever