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The Milk Diet

There are few foods which have had as much swing in their step as milk. One year it’s in, the next it is out. It has been deemed poison or honey and has strong advocates on each side. One year it makes people fat, the next year it helps with weight loss. People are drawn to both sides of the argument and waver in the middle with not enough evidence presented from either side. It’s rather like eggs all over again, being fashionable one year and out in the cold the next.

The poison and honey issue is constant as both sides have an agenda to push of course, from the farmers who want to sell more milk, and the animal rights activists who protest at the way hormones and antibiotics are given to cows. It is possible to purchase totally organic milk.

The nutritional facts about milk are thus: it is high in calcium, protein and magnesium. In addition it has essential vitamins, the most important one being vitamin D. http://www.helium.com/items/1769617-foods-rich-in-vitamin-d

It is recommended that the daily intake should be 3 x 8oz glasses a day as the calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth. It comes as whole milk which is full fat, semi skimmed or skimmed. Skimmed milk should be the choice for those who are trying to lose weight. Women who don’t drink the recommended amount of milk are advised to take calcium supplements to help prevent osteoporosis which leads to brittle bones.

In the UK milk was traditionally provided to all schoolchildren to ensure it was part of their regular diet. In America today consumption of milk by children has fallen dramatically as it has been substituted with pop. Children are becoming much heavier and less healthy, and should be encouraged to drink milk and stop drinking sodas.

At the moment it is an issue if chocolate milk should be withdrawn from American school cafeterias due to the sugar content from the chocolate. The argument against is that children may turn away from milk altogether if it wasn’t artificially sweetened, and that as milk is filling it cuts down on the amount of sodas they drink and unhealthy snacks.

A milk diet was introduced to combat illness back in the 1920’s. It was meant to build the sick up. Today milk is being promoted as a diet in itself which is as ridiculous as all the other diets which push one food only, at the expense of other foods. It is not to be recommended and will probably make you sick. To live on milk alone is not healthy. When milk is promoted as part of a healthy diet, it is recommended that 3 glasses a day are downed, not a gallon of the stuff.

The amusing thing of course is how many dieters are willing to pay a high price for meal replacement diet shakes which are made out of skimmed milk powder. Meal replacements must be between 200-400 calories and be comprised of 25% protein and have 23 additional vitamins and nutrients, so the powder is fortified. Consensus is that the nutrients are better absorbed from the actual milk than from the fortified supplement.

Meal replacement shakes are filling enough to replace a meal so simply adding something to a homemade milkshake made from fat free milk would have the same result, and extra calories would be burnt off by opening the fridge door. Protein shakes are used regularly by body builders who add a protein mix to skimmed milk and healthy ingredients.

As part of a healthy balanced diet milk should be included, especially for children. If you are watching your weight, opt for skimmed milk; like water it will be filling and take the edge off hunger. If you see an all milk diet for weight loss toss it aside as just another fad.

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