We dismantle (with the help of science) eight false clichés about milk

"In recent years we have seen a worrisome decrease in the consumption of milk among the Spanish population conditioned, at least in part, by misconceptions about their consumption and that of other dairy derivatives." The quotation is from this consensus document published in 2015 in Hospital nutrition, and written by more than half a dozen prestigious physicians. Despite this decline in popularity, it is a major food product that should be consumed daily according to the nutritional Pyramid of the Guide for families, healthy eating of the Ministry of Health and consumption. Because, as explained in the Nutrition Treaty of the Editorial Médica Panamericana, "dairy products constitute a group of foods that adapt to the different needs of each person, depending on their physiological and health situation." This is why it is advisable to banish the false clichés that threaten the health of those who believe it is detrimental.

1. Milk should be consumed only in childhood, as does the rest of the mammals

"It is true and evident that, with the exception of man, no adult species can consume it," says Salvador Zamora Navarro, professor emeritus of physiology at the University of Murcia in the prologue to the document milk as a health vehicle for the population . But the reason is not the lack of nutrients of the same, but the discovery of milking more than 6,000 years ago. "It has had to develop livestock so that the human species can dispose of meat and milk in sufficient quantities to meet their needs," continues Zamora. And the same is true, among other things, with agriculture and fruits and vegetables.

2. It is detrimental to health because it produces mucus and raises cholesterol

Various studies cast the belief that "milk produces mucus." Specifically, this from the Department of Community Medicine at the University of Adelaide (Australia) says: "We conclude that a statistically significant global partnership cannot be detected between milk and dairy intake and the symptoms of Mucus production in healthy adults, whether asymptomatic or symptomatic, with rhinovirus infection. "

With regard to cholesterol, the dairy white Paper makes it very clear: "Milk and dairy products provide linoleic acid that contributes to maintaining normal blood cholesterol levels." He adds: "There is now ample scientific evidence regarding the lowering of cholesterol levels. When the diet is supplemented with yogurt or skimmed milk, 5% decreases in cholesterol levels have been achieved. In any case, there are low-fat milk in the market.

3. Milk contains antibiotics

It is forbidden, so that the milks that are marketed do not contain them. Administer it the animals to promote their growth, so is it. It is only allowed for therapeutic purposes. In this case, the cows have to spend a time of withdrawal of the milking. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) publishes every year a report showing the results of the regular monitoring of food. In the 2014, only 0.09% of the milk analyzed showed an amount of antibiotics above the limits established by the legislation. This document of the Spanish Agency of consumption, food security and nutrition provides more information.

4. Consuming milk produces allergies and intolerances

According to this document of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, the allergy to milk protein is usually acquired spontaneously and affects only 2.5% of the population. As for lactose intolerant, they have lactose-free milk.

5. Milk produces prostate cancer

There are no conclusive studies to endorse the positive relationship between this type of cancer and milk consumption, as can be read in this review of 2013. And in this same year, which ensures that "observational studies do not support an association between the use of dairy products and an increased risk of prostate cancer." While the results of this meta-analysis "do not support an independent relationship between milk intake or dairy products and the risk of bladder cancer."

On the contrary, it seems proven the relationship between the consumption of dairy and a lower incidence of breast cancer, as explained in this meta-analysis; and milk with "a reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer," as can be read here.

6. Milk fattening because it contains fat and sugar

The key to the benefits of milk is that it "provides a high nutrient content in relation to the caloric content, that is, an excellent nutritional density", as stated in this report of the Spanish Nutrition Foundation. But also, the fat contained in milk is not high, as is assured in the document irreplaceable dairy. Namely: 3.5% in the whole; 1.6% in the skimmed and less than 0.5% in the skimmed. In fact, this study conducted by the Faculty of Pharmacy of the Complutense University concluded that "people with normal body weight had higher intake of dairy products compared to overweight and obese people."

Regarding the sugar contained in milk, is lactose and is a naturally present sugar, not added, which in opposition to glucose and other free sugars, does not induce a response insulinémica so high and is metabolized differently to the common sugar (sucrose).

7. It is not necessary to drink milk to consume the necessary calcium

"It is difficult to cover calcium recommendations without consuming dairy products." It is written by the doctors specializing in preventive medicine and nutrition Javier Aranceta and Lluís Serra in the book Milk, Dairy and Health, published by the Editorial Panamericana in 2004. In addition, emphasis is placed on the good absorption of the mineral contained in milk: "The digestibility of calcium and phosphorus is quite high in milk, due in part to that they are found in conjunction with casein. Milk is therefore the best source of calcium for both bone growth in young people and for the maintenance of bone integrity in adults. "

8. Vegetable beverages are an alternative to cow's milk.

First, a clarification on the part of the OCU: "They are white, they come in bottle or cardboard container, they are drunk... and already. That's the end of the similarities between milk and vegetable beverages. " And something else: "Because of its characteristics and properties, these drinks are not substituted for milk." So much so that the Pediatric Act on dietary errors in the infant suggests: "It would be desirable to indicate that these beverages should not be consumed exclusively before the year of life and that they are not a complete food or a nutritional alternative to Cow's milk. "