Alice Hoang Writes about the Good and Bad of Milk – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com
Online piece #7
Is milk good or bad for you?
While some say milk is nutritious, others say it causes health problems.
Milk is unhealthy for people the same way chocolate is deadly for dogs – it depends on the person who consumes milk, as 1 percent of adults are allergic to the dairy product.
Seven million Canadians are lactose intolerant, which means they do not produce an enzyme to break down lactose, the sugar found in milk. As an alternative, they may have rice, soy or goat’s milk.
“Goat’s milk has a slightly different protein structure that, for some people, maybe more easily digestible,” says Desirée Nielsen, a registered dietitian in Delta, B.C.
People may also turn to non-dairy calcium sources, like dark green vegetables, beans, sesame seeds, almonds, and figs.
For others, cow’s milk has health benefits, as milk is very high in calcium, while it contains other vitamins and minerals including magnesium, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, B, and K.
Dr. Dara Maker, a Toronto physician, says Canadian milk is fortified with vitamin D, which is essential for strong bones.
“Vitamin D is required to help you absorb calcium through your intestinal wall, and calcium helps to build up the bones,” Maker said. “If you don’t have a proper balance of those two nutrients, it leads to osteoporosis.”
Low-fat milk can also reduce high blood pressure and protect against colorectal cancer, according to American studies.
Since milk turns semi-solid in the stomach, making you feel full, experts say choosing skim milk can help you maintain a healthy weight.