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Why you should not give up on milk

Mumbai-based clinical nutritionist Rasika Parab breaks the myths surrounding consumption of milk

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Why you should not give up on milk
Nutritionists consider milk to be one of the best sources of protein, even better than lentils; (Photo: Alamy | Pongphan Ruengchai)

By Sonali Acharjee: With dietary changes, many have come to question the benefits of milk. Mumbai-based clinical nutritionist Rasika Parab explains the benefits of milk and why any food group should not be cut out of one’s diet without medical advice:

Milk is a complete protein: In clinical nutrition, we consider milk one of the best sources of protein. It is even better than lentils, which are a second-class protein, whereas milk is a complete protein. For vegetarians, milk can provide essential proteins important not only for daily functioning but also when one is recovering from illness. We often give some milk to our patients during their recovery period in the hospital. Only in two cases do we avoid milk—if a person is lactose intolerant or diagnosed with an upset stomach.

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Test for lactose intolerance: Some people experience stomach issues, such as diarrhoea, bloating or indigestion, after consumption of milk and milk products such as paneer. These people don’t experience the same symptoms usually with curd or buttermilk, which is lactic acid. If one is experiencing stomach symptoms with the consumption of milk, it is advised to consult a doctor. One can even take a test to confirm lactose intolerance. However, it is best not to self-diagnose the condition.

All milk is beneficial: You don’t really need to drink A2 milk to experience the benefits. All cow or buffalo milk is nutritious. It is good to buy milk from a trusted source. Cow milk has less fat than buffalo milk, but one can also opt for low-fat buffalo milk.

Cutting out milk doesn’t necessarily help with weight loss: Some people tend to cut out milk believing it will help them to lose weight. However, that is not the case. One should balance out any weight-loss diet with moderate amounts of all food groups. A glass of milk, particularly if it is low fat, will not harm you or stall your weight loss unless you have lactose intolerance.

Don’t rely on internet fad diets: There are myths that milk can cause cancer or cysts or hormonal imbalances. However, even if there are known linkages, it might not necessarily apply to you. If one has questions, then ask a doctor or clinical nutritionist for factual and verified information before you decide to cut out any food group from your diet.

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