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Cow's milk is bad or good. Properties, nutritional values and research on milk. Investigation: Cow's milk is good or bad for your health.
With the termmilkwe mean that clear liquid extracted from the mammary glands of certain mammals, among these, the most popular is cow's milk also known as "cow". Cow's milk is expressed during and immediately after pregnancy.
In the world, the largest producer of cow's milk is India, which exports its milk powder all over the world. To sum up, there are six billion people in the world who consume cow's milk. It is clear that this sector moves large amounts of money and claims such as "milk is bad" or "milk is good for you“, Said by authoritative sources, can change the fate of an entire market.
You might be interested in reading the article: goat's milk or cow's milk.
Cow's milk, nutritional values and properties
A cup of cow's milk contains, on average, about 146 calories, 5 g of saturated fat, 24 milligrams of cholesterol. It is an extraordinary source of proteins and micronutrients, contains several E vitamins and provides a third of the recommended daily intake of calcium.
THEnutritional valuesshown here refer to milk obtained from industrial farming. Theproperties of cow's milk, in fact, they can vary based on several factors:
- Type of livestock farming / feeding
- Breed of the animal
- Point and period of lactation
The percentage of fat present in milk varies between one breed and another, based on the type of diet given to livestock (organic or non-organic farming) and the lactation period.
The approximate percentages of fat in cow's milk based on breed range from a minimum of 3.6% for the Danish “Holstein-Friesian” cow to a maximum of 5%. As well as the percentage of fat, the amount of protein can also vary according to the breed and ranges from 3.3% up to 4% protein. In industrial milk the percentage of protein is estimated to be approximately 3.4% (meaning that with 100 ml of milk, 3.4 g of protein are consumed).
The amount of fat can be manipulated by the food industry in addition, mastitis (an infection that affects the mammary glands of cattle) can affect the amount of fat by making it increase or decrease according to the case.
A study published in December 2013 in the journalSilla PLoS ONE, highlighted that the organic cow's milk it is a good source of omega-3 but the same fatty acids are lacking in cow's milk produced with non-organic farming. In addition, cow's milk contains potassium which can prevent arterial hypertension.
Cow's milk, cholesterol and heart health
When it comes to heart health, all dairy products (including milk!) Should be consumed with caution. John Day MD, cardiologist and director of theHeart Rhythm Serviceof Salt Lake City (Utah), states that saturated fats in milk raise bad cholesterol levels in the blood, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. In fact, most doctors (and even the American Heart Association) recommend consuming only semi-skimmed milk, a cup, in fact, contains only 5 mg of cholesterol compared to 24 mg of whole milk.
Milk is bad or good
The data from the scientific community are conflicting. To cite two disagreeing studies:
- The Journal of Bone and Mineral Research published a meta-analysis showing how milk consumption could prevent hip fracture in middle-aged adults and the elderly.
- Research published in the BMJ looked at data from 45,000 men and 61,000 Swedes. He concluded that milk does not improve bone health in men, in fact, in women it could even increase the risk of bone fracture by 16%. In women who drank 3 glasses of milk a day, an increase in hip fracture of as much as 60% was shown.
Conclusion? Cow's milk should be taken in moderation and better if partially skimmed. Whole cow's milk, according to research, is bad for your health. However, there is no lack of research that affirms how whole milk (derived from non-industrial breeding) can be more nutritious and satiating than the partially skimmed milk that we find on the market.
The inconsistency between the researches can be explained in various ways, on the one hand there are strong economic interests so you should understand who finances the studies. On the other hand, as stated, the properties of milk may vary according to the origin. If you know a small farmer, perhaps who practices organic farming or at least grazing outdoors, it would be better to buy the milk directly without going through the supermarket shelves, in this way you will ensure a more genuine product.
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