As milk-drinkers everywhere raise a glass this World Milk Day, I'll explore the most prevalent myths that still persist around the consumption of milk, and try to separate the fact from the fiction:
Milk makes you fat
Milk is a nutritious and natural product which is a recommended part of a healthy diet. Also, the wide variety of milk on offer means that everyone can find a milk with the level of fat in it suitable for their diet. Whilst bodybuilders or those who are looking to cut down on snacking may prefer whole milk, those wanting to cut down on their fat consumption may prefer fat-free skimmed milk. The important thing is that semi-skimmed, 1% and skimmed milks all contain the same level of water soluble vitamins and minerals and consumers have a wide variety of milk to choose from in the supermarket aisles, allowing them to find the milk that is right for them.
Milk is bad for your skin
A common suggestion from those who have decided to cut dairy from their diets is that milk is bad for your skin. The most common reasoning for this is that the natural hormones from the cows finds its way into milk and leads to acne breakouts. However, there is no convincing evidence that milk causes acne, a condition commonly induced by human hormones.
Milk is filled with sugar
Lactose is the natural sugar found in milk which gives it its sweet taste, and is absorbed (in the intestines) after being spilt by an enzyme.
Health experts warn that it is the added sugars in many products which are responsible for consumers eating too much sugar, leading to obesity issues amongst the general population. In its upcoming healthy eating plan, the Government is making allowances for the natural sugars found in dairy products.
The human body is not meant to tolerate lactose
46% of young adults claim to have had an adverse effect when consuming dairy, and dairy-free diets are on the rise in this group. However, according to the British Nutrition Foundation, only 5% of people are actually believed to be intolerant to lactose.
Indeed, dairy products have been part of the Western diet for thousands of years, and as a result we have produced enzymes over the generations that help us digest milk easier than other people around the world.
Milk is only good for your bones
We all know milk to be an excellent source of calcium, which is essential for bone health, but it is just one of many nutrients that milk offers.
Milk is also a high-quality source of protein, which contributes to normal bone growth in children and the growth of muscle mass. But it's a wide-ranging product, and other nutrients and vitamins in every glass of milk include phosphorous, potassium, iodine, vitamin B2, and vitamin B12. Far from just being good for your bones, a glass of milk can help everything from your skin to your mental performance!