At one time, buying milk was simple.
Today’s blog is by Gayl Southard, Administrative Assistant at SafeSourcing.
At one time, buying milk was simple. Your local dairy used to deliver it right to your doorstep.
Today, however, we have nonfat, low-fat or whole milk. There are also soy milk, almond milk, hemp, or oat milk. Do you want cow milk or goat milk? With or without lactose? Raw or pasteurized? Plain or flavored? There is controversy as to which drinks can even be called milk.
Christopher Gardner, Ph.D., a Stanford Nutritionist Scientist, is working hard to clear up some of these myths. Most of us grew up believing milk was good for us. It built strong bones! It was considered a source of calcium, a factor for good bone health. However, there are countries such as Japan and India where the country is predominately lactose intolerant and milk consumption is low and so is the rate of hip fractures. Many of these cultures also do more weight-bearing activities than Americans. Gardner advises that people are better off on relying on physical activity to build strong bones than consuming milk to strengthen bones. Gardner further advised milk can improve bone density, but whether it prevents bone fractures remains debatable.
Milk can be a healthier alternative to soda. The popular vanilla and chocolate plant-based milks are often laden with sugar. It is important to check the nutrition labeling. Gardner stated, “The nutrition label also allows you to compare the amount of fats, protein, carbs and vitamins in each type of milk. For example, the plant-based milks generally don’t have saturated fat like cow’s milk so they don’t raise LDL-cholesterol as much as dairy milk, but they do have about the same amount as calcium,’ he said. And soy milk has the same amount of protein as dairy milk, but almond milk has much less protein.”1
Another milk misconception is that 2 percent milk means 2 percent of calories are from fat, but it’s 2 percent of the weight (which is mainly water) and 35 percent of the calories. Whole milk has nearly 50 percent of calories from fat, and 1 percent milk has about 20 percent. The old belief was whole milk made you fat and skim milk helped you lose weight was refuted by Harvard in a study that followed over 100,000 nurses over 30 years including their dietary changes. The study revealed switching from whole milk and skim milk did not make any weight change.
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1 Jennifer Huber, Stanford Medicine Scooe, 8/14/2918
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