We've all been told that we need milk. That its calcium makes our bones strong. That it helps to prevent osteoporosis and a number of other health conditions. But what does science really have to say about this product? Why does milk, of all beverages, get a pass in our efforts to reduce everyone's caloric intake? Why is it encouraged, when all others are shunned? Is it because you need the calcium? Is it because it makes your bones stronger?
To be clear, we know that we need calcium. Ultimately, calcium is the key to having healthy bones. Getting enough of this helps to slow bone loss as we age. However, too much of it can be a very bad thing. Because, while calcium (and dairy) can lower the risk of osteoporosis and colon cancer, high intake can increase other forms of cancer. Indeed, it increases the risk of prostate cancer, and scientific articles also indicate that it may be linked to ovarian cancer.
On top of this, dairy products are very often high in saturated fat as well as retinol (vitamin A), which at high levels weakens bones. We all know the phrase, "all things in moderation." But what is the healthy amount of milk?
Ultimately, science indicates that people should limit milk and dairy foods to no more than one to two servings per day. More won’t necessarily do your bones any good, and the high fatty content may be contributing to the obesity issue in the West. And fear not, less is fine, as long as you get enough calcium from other sources (like leafy green vegetables and broccoli). Want to know more? See this article, from Harvard School of Public Health, or watch the video below.