Milk vs Dietary Supplements – Nutritional Benefits Overview

Milk vs Dietary Supplements - Nutritional Benefits Overview

Vitamins are a prerequisite component to human body development implying that their intake is essential. Vitamins are present in vegetables, fruits, animal products like milk, and from dietary supplements that are taken as prescribed by a physician.

Milk, in particular, contains vitamins that are vital to the enhancement of growth and development of a newborn calf in its early days of life. Likewise, it has nearly all nutrients necessary for human growth and development thus making it one of the most nutritious foods on earth.

Cow milk can be found almost everywhere on the planet, and it is the major animal milk that is consumed by human beings. Nevertheless, a camel, goat, and sheep milk is also available based on the availability of these animals. The availability and the nutritional value of cow milk have seen it become the most consumed type of milk in many societies.

Milk is predominantly high in vitamin B, vitamin D, proteins, and mineral compounds that vital to human bodies in various ways. In U.S.A, milk is enriched mostly with vitamin D, which is a basic requirement for the absorption of calcium. It is a fact that the human body can make vitamin D once exposed to sunlight; however, there are those individuals who spend little time outdoors implying that they are not exposed to adequate sunlight.

In this case, one can get the vitamin D necessary for the body to function and develop properly by drinking vitamin D milk.

Other vitamins that are present in milk include:

• Vitamin B12: This vitamin is vital and is only acquired from foods of animal origin and milk is the prime source.
• Riboflavin: Also referred to as vitamin B2, it is a component of B-vitamins. Dairy products, particularly milk, are the primary source of riboflavin especially in the West.
• Vitamin A: Milk contains about 10 percent vitamin A that promotes a healthy skin and good vision
• Vitamin B3: Responsible for normal growth and tissue formation
• Vitamin B5: This type is responsible for converting food into tissue formation, bones, and energy.
• Vitamin B12: Helps in red blood cell creation
• Vitamin B6: Helps in bones and soft tissue construction and energy

The content of vitamin level in milk essentially depends on the level of fat content in the milk. This is the main reason why low fat milk must be enriched with vitamin A to be nutritionally equivalent to whole milk.

Alternatively, dietary supplements have been widely used as a source of different types of dietary components that serve different purposes in human bodies. Just as the name suggests, supplements simply add to your diet. In case you are lacking a particular nutrient, for instance, vitamin B12, you can acquire it from a supplement formula. Subject to your lifestyle, dietary supplements can be helpful in improving your health but not without risks. If used recklessly, health supplements can have adverse effects to the overall health status of an individual. In dietary supplements, multi vitamins are the most used formula.

Benefits of Milk Vitamins

Benefits of Milk Vitamins

While milk is considered a great source of calcium that is a key component of strong teeth and bones’ growth and development, it also contains vitamin A components that can give you hard and strong bones.

Food nutrients like vitamin D are essential for the body to absorb and make good use of calcium minerals. Although sunlight is the major source of vitamin D, fortified milk can also offer a good amount of vitamin D for those who do not spend enough time in the sunlight for adequate vitamin D intake. Fortification of milk with vitamin D is common almost in all countries across the world, especially in the Northern parts of US. One glass of milk enriched with vitamin D in the US may contain up to 65 percent of the daily-suggested allowance of vitamin D. The daily intake of enriched vitamin D milk is a crucial dietary consideration for strong teeth and bones for growing children and keeping the bones strong as one grows older.

You can also lead a healthy lifestyle by incorporating dairy milk into your diet. Dairy milk contains vitamin E, which is important in boosting your immune system. Additionally, the vitamin A contained in milk is responsible for a strong immune system and healthy vision. This implies that a balanced diet that incorporates milk and its products can provide
your body with the vitamins it needs.

Milk Sourced Vitamins vs Dietary Vitamins Supplements

It is no doubt that vitamins can also be obtained from dietary supplements rather than from natural sources like milk products. The beneficial value of sourcing vitamins from milk greatly outweighs the benefits accrued from getting them from supplement sources. This is because supplemental sources often have unintended side effects.

Despite the fact that some dietary supplements can provide some vitamins that milk cannot offer, they are not meant to replace milk entirely. Relying entirely on multivitamin supplements for nutritional needs can lead to the accumulation of toxins in the body. As such, it is important to rely on naturally acquired milk vitamins.

Milk Sourced Vitamins vs Dietary Vitamins Supplements

Unlike milk-sourced vitamins, supplement vitamins can cause different reactions to various individuals. They might increase blood pressure and cause allergic reactions, among other effects on an individual. For instance, servicemen may experience various reactions to dietary supplements that may be occasioned by climate or stress. Click here to see other reactions occasioned by supplements on servicemen. Milk, on the other hand, has minimal effects on people regardless of their origin or the climatic conditions that they experience.

Endurance and physical activities are important since they help with weight loss and keeping physical fitness. Vitamin B received from milk increases metabolic activities in the body, which translates to more activities in the body, thus reducing weight. However, taking supplemental vitamin pills to reduce weight can lead to serious repercussions, thus proper precautionary measures need to be put in place to mitigate their effects.

The dangers associated with using dietary supplements mostly include high blood pressure, increased possibility of cardiac arrest, and muscle breakdown. As such, it is always important to consult a qualified nutritionist or a doctor before embarking on dietary supplements for vitamins over milk and its products.

Continue Reading

FDA Pinched on Soy Milk Debate – What You Need to Know

FDA Pinched on Soy Milk Debate - What You Need to Know

At first glance, the question seems simple enough. Can milk-like beverages, ones that look like milk and taste like milk, but are derived from plants rather than from teats, be sold as a type of milk, soymilk in particular? This is not a harmless little spat. Plant-based beverages, led by increasingly popular soy milk, have grown into a $7 billion industry; and it’s expected to double in size by 2022.

Big Milk Punches Back

While the faux-milk industry has grown rapidly, real-milk producers are facing declining sales. So, they’ve decided to fight back. Jim Mulhern, president and chief executive officer of the National Milk Producers Federation has drawn a line in the sand. Even if food technologists can make plant-based beverages look like milk and taste like milk, they’re not milk. Real milk can only come from mammals.

A plant-based, milk-like beverage is not the nutritional equivalent of real milk and can’t be marketed as such. It calls the plant-based beverage industry’s name grab a “transparent attempt to profit from milk’s good name by emulating the wording, but not the superior nutrition, of our products.” Owning the term milk for marketing purposes is a huge deal.

Big Milk Punches Back

What’s in a Name?

Milk has a reputation that’s pretty much beyond reproach. But the question of who can use it in describing a product, and how, is very much the subject of debate. There’s a tendency to side with the purists who define real milk as one thing and one thing only. But if milk is modified by always using a word to qualify it, like soy, or almond, rice or coconut for that matter, mean that it’s not real milk?

Words Matter

It can be a tough slog wading through the myriad of seemingly simple ways words matter, and this dispute is a case in point. It pits the U.S. Department of Agriculture against the Food and Drug Administration with rival trade groups lining up with the federal agency that is most supportive of their respective points-of- view, and taking or threatening legal action against the one that isn’t

Plant-based milk groups are renewing their demands that the Food & Drug Administration rule on a 20-year- old petition asking FDA to clarify its stance on plant-based milk naming. The Soyfoods Association of North America originally petitioned the agency 1997. The FDA has never issued a ruling.

Now, the Good Food Institute (GFI) which is opposed to what it describes as industrial animal agriculture, is demanding the FDA make that ruling and that the ruling specifically allow the term “soy milk” to be used in the marketing of soy-based beverages. It argues the term soymilk has been so widely used, for so long, it’s become a part of the food vernacular.

It further argues the FDA has been letting food producers use common names like soy milk to describe plant-based milk for years. [The FDA has not stopped the Silk brand of soy milk, for instance, from using the term prominently in the packaging and marketing of its products.] It says it just wants the agency to make it official.

USDA Complicates Matters Further

The FDA has so far refused to grant the petition. It continues to insist the federal definition of milk is that of a “lacteal secretion” from cows. The agency is adamant that referring to plant-based drinks as “milk” would be incorrect. The fact that it hasn’t enforced the rule does not mean the rule is incorrect.

USDA Complicates Matters Further

To make things even messier, the USDA is using the term itself in dietary guidelines it publishes for American consumers despite the FDA’s insistence that it refrain from doing so, As part of its investigation into the FDA’s reluctance to rule on the 20-year- old petition, the GFI discovered emails, in which a nutritionist working the FDA’s parent agency, the Department of Health and Human services, had corresponded with FDA officials to inform them of the USDA’s impending release of dietary guidelines to the public containing the term the term soymilk.

In response, the FDA re-affirmed its decision to define milk as “lacteal secretion from a mammal,” plant-based milk like beverages can’t be described as milk in any way shape or form. It suggested the USDA be told to using the term “beverage” or “fortified beverage” instead. The FDA also warned that continuing to use the term “soymilk,” could undermine the USDA’s authority. The nutritionist, probably feeling a bit like a ping pong ball at this point passed, the information to

USDA but was then told by the USDA that the agency was adamant about using the term in consumer publications.

Re-enter the National Milk Producers Federation

Re-enter the National Milk Producers Federation

The NMPF is currently working on legislation that would require the FDA to enforce the federal standards for what can be considered true milk. This would make using the term milk in combination with soy, or any of the other plants from which a milk-like beverage can be derived, a crime.

The ball is back in the hands of the FDA at the moment, and it seems like a no-win situation. If the FDA sticks to its guns on the definition of milk, it runs afoul of its sister agency and risks a law suit from the GFI. If it does a flip flop and re-defines milk in a way that plant-based products qualify for the designation, it ends up with egg on its face and the dairy group will expedite its efforts to pass legislation that would take the issue out of the department’s hands.

Inter-agency Wrangling Continues

The debate over the term soymilk has already been settled in the European Union. The courts there ruled in June that almond, rice, and soy beverages cannot be called “milk.” The NMPF is confident U.S. courts would rule the same way.

Meanwhile, the FDA and the USDA continue to wrangle over the one best way to officially describe plant-based beverages. Finding a solution that both agencies can live with may prove to be elusive.

It’s “not a trivial decision,” the FDA warned in one of the 2011 emails about the USDA’s desire to use the term. At this point, no resolution is in sight.

It came as no surprise, then, when asked more recently what steps it intended to take to resolve the dispute, the FDA said it had no comment.

Continue Reading

Does Soy Milk Make You Fat?

Does Soy Milk Make You Fat?

It seems as though there’s a new diet craze every couple of days: Low carb diets, vegan diets, gluten free diets, and even Paleo diets are now making the rounds. With the emphasis on defeating obesity and trying to eat healthier, many people have turned to foods like soy to try to improve their diets. You may have seen soy milk, tofu, or other soy-based products at your local grocery store and wondered: Is soy really healthy for you? Does soy milk contribute to weight gain? To answer these questions, it helps to look at what soy is and how it is used in different foods.

What Is Soy?

What Is Soy?

Soybeans, also known as glycine max, are a type of beans that are native to East Asia. According to a study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, they are one of the most common crops grown in the United States. There are actually two different species of soybeans, but both are made mostly of soybean oil, water, protein, and some carbohydrates.

What Are The Benefits of Drinking Soy Milk?

Soybeans are popular as a food choice because they provide a lot of essential nutrients, such as proteins, essential omega-3 fatty acids, and healthy fats. They are also a convenient alternative to meat or lactose products for people who are vegetarian, vegan, or lactose intolerant. A range of soy products has emerged across the world, including tofu, soy paste, soy milk, miso, and even soy burgers.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, soybeans can help lower cholesterol and provide other health benefits. The American Cancer Society claims that eating soy products is not harmful and that their high level of phytic acid can help reduce inflammation and maybe even prevent cancer.

However, these are not the only benefits of soy. Some other advantages are shown below:

What Are The Possible Risks of Drinking Soy Milk?

What Are The Possible Risks of Drinking Soy Milk?

  • Reduces the risk of heart disease
  • Regulates leptin levels (the “satiety” hormone) to promote fullness
  • Provides beneficial proteins and antioxidants

However, although soy milk does have its benefits (such as those listed above), some studies also point to the drawbacks associated with consuming soy products. Many of these have to do with the fact that soy contains compounds called isoflavins that mimic the body’s naturally produced estrogen.

Thus, there is some concern that drinking soy milk could contribute to breast cancer growth or lead to unwanted side affects, such as hot flashes, hair loss, bloating, and weight gain. There have also been studies investigating soy’s relationship with a number of medical conditions, such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, gout, hyperthyroidism, and cognitive impairment.

However, most studies investigating these claims have shown that there is not enough evidence to conclusively prove that consuming soy products has a dangerous effect on health. For instance, a 2010 study published in a journal by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine showed that eating soy protein or isoflavins had no effect on reproductive hormones in men and did not cause prostate cancer. On the other hand, studies of soy’s effects on cognitive functions have been mixed: Some studies suggest that it can lead to brain atrophy in rats, while others show no correlation between soy consumption and cognitive deterioration.

Eating soy has been linked to the following health problems:

So, Does Soy Milk Make You Fat, Or Not?

So, Does Soy Milk Make You Fat, Or Not?

  • May inhibit absorption of thyroid hormone
  • May make conditions such as gout worse
  • May trigger food intolerance or allergies, especially in young children

As with most things, the answer to this question is a little tricky and complicated. The answer: It depends. The evidence around the relationship between soy milk and weight gain is complex and hard to decipher. However, research has shown a few things to be true:

  • There is no direct correlation between drinking soy milk and increased weight gain
  • The fat content in a serving of soy milk is less than the fat content in a serving of cow’s milk. Soy milk tends to have around 2 to 4 grams of fat per serving, while cow’s milk has around 8 grams of fat per serving.
  • Soy milk generally has more calories than cow’s milk– about 140 calories per serving, compared to about 90 to 130 calories in cow’s milk.

Soy can interfere with the production of thyroid hormone and lead to hyperthyroidism, which can lead to weight gain.

So, bottom line: In small amounts as part of a balanced diet, soy milk alone is not responsible for weight gain. It may promote hormonal weight gain by acting as estrogen, but otherwise has no effect.

Continue Reading

Types of Milk – Nutrition Facts of Various Milk Types

Types of Milk – Nutrition Facts of Various Milk Types

Many people are now aware that milk can be crafted from a diverse array of sources, including cows, goats, flax, and coconuts. While each type of milk has certain benefits, some types of milk might be better for people who have gastrointestinal issues, intolerance, or allergies. There are typically over a dozen different types of milk sold in stores, and many of the non-dairy kinds of milk are becoming more popularly demanded and stocked on shelves.

The following 13 types of milk are considered to be the healthiest for human consumption. Of course, each one has different benefits and is best used for various purposes.

Whole Milk

Whole Milk

First off, there is whole milk. Whole milk has a creamy and thick texture and a rich taste to it. The average container of whole milk contains about 150 calories. It usually has 8g of fat and 5g of saturated fat, making it one of the fattier types of milk available. It’s also relatively high in cholesterol (35mg) and sodium (130mg). However, it does pack in 8 g of protein and makes up 30% of the calcium daily value (DV).

2% Milk

2% milk is one of the most commonly-purchased types of milk. In fact, between 1975 and 2014, sales of 2% milk increased by 106% while those of whole milk decreased. While it has long been speculated that 2% is healthier than whole milk, it is still high in calories (130) and sodium (130mg).

Skim Milk

Like 2%, skim milk has also become more popular since the 1970’s. What makes skim milk different is that, when processed, the cream is separated from the whey and not added back in as it is with whole and 2%. Skim generally contains 90 calories and under 5g of cholesterol. It is slightly higher in sodium (135mg) than whole or 2% but does not contain saturated fats. It is also slightly higher in protein (9g), so those needing extra protein can benefit from drinking skim milk.

Goat's Milk

Goat’s Milk

Sweeter than cow’s milk and higher in its caloric count (150), goat’s milk works best in yogurt since it’s so sweet. It, too, contains 30% of the calcium DV and has 8g of protein. However, it is fairly high in cholesterol (30mg) and sodium (120mg).

Almond Milk

Contrary to goat’s milk, almond milk is nutty in taste and watery in texture. It has a high calcium DV of 45% and is low in calories (30), fat (2.5g), and has no cholesterol. It is also low in terms of carbs and protein. Its sodium content is one of the highest found in milk, coming in at about 180mg. As with other nondairy milk, it can be used for baking/cooking, with cereal, or mixed in with protein powder for a healthy shake.

Cashew Milk

Like almond milk, cashew milk contains almost no protein. It does, however, have a creamy texture that makes it ideal to use in coffee and for preparing alfredo sauce. Cashew milk is low in calories, contains no cholesterol, and has just 3g of carbs.

Flax Milk

While not currently as popular as other nondairy milk, flax milk has some benefits. It is extremely low in calories and is cholesterol-free. Also, it has 80g of sodium, which is significantly less than that found in dairy-based milk products. Unfortunately, it contains no dietary protein or fiber and has a bland taste.

Oat Milk

Oat Milk

Oat milk, which is also slowly gaining some popularity, is being used for breakfast foods, including pancakes. It has a somewhat sweet taste and is an excellent source of calcium (35% of the DV). However, oat milk has more carbs than coconut, hemp, flax, or soy milk. It has a modest amount of protein (about 4g) and contains some fiber.

Hemp Milk

Organic hemp milk has numerous benefits, including iron, potassium, and all 10 essential amino acids. It is low in carbs and calories but has about 125mg of sodium.

Hazelnut Milk

Hazelnut milk has a rich taste and creamy texture that goes well with a cup of coffee. Hazelnut is higher in carbs than hemp and has about as much sodium. It is usually gentle on the gut and provides about 30% of the calcium DV.

Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is one of the most popular and gentle forms of nondairy milk. It is slightly sour but not overpowering, making it an ideal base for yogurt and ice cream. It only has about 45 calories and no cholesterol or sodium. However, it only gives about 10% of the calcium DV.

Rice Milk

Sweet and rich, rice milk is a good option for use on cereal. While it only gives 2% of the calcium DV and is loaded with carbs (23g), it is cholesterol-free and low in fat.

Soy Milk

Soy Milk

Finally, we come to the most popular dairy alternative, soy milk. Soy milk is thicker and sweeter than almond or hazelnut milk and has a stronger taste. It is fairly low in carbs, sodium, and calories. It does, however, have 4g of fat and 0.5g saturated fat. Some individuals with leaky gut and other autoimmune symptoms should avoid this soy-based product, as it might trigger some reactions.

Milk and nondairy alternatives are all easy to locate in most grocery stores. As the above information shows, the healthiest type of milk really depends on a person’s unique health needs.

Continue Reading