Milk is a highly controversial topic, especially in regards to your health. The dairy industry promotes milk as a healthy product that can help you lose weight. However, opponents say that drinking milk is unhealthy and makes you gain weight. These opponents say that studies conducted were paid for by the dairy industry and therefore biased. On the other hand, many of the opponents of drinking milk are animal rights activists, so they are not exactly unbiased themselves. So where does the truth lie?
Does Milk Do a Body Good?
Studies conducted by the dairy industry seem to indicate that a diet consisting of 3 servings of milk a day—that comes to 24 oz—and a low calorie diet with plenty of exercise can help you lose weight. The dairy industry suggests using low- or no-fat versions of these products to help with weight loss.
So how does it work? The claim is that a deficiency of calcium causes the body to release hormones that increase the production and storage of fat. Increasing your calcium intake can prevent this and makes it less likely that your body will produce more fat. Milk is an excellent source of calcium.
So what is it about milk as a source of calcium that makes it a better weight loss tool than calcium from vegetables? Well this comes from two reasons. The first is that milk also contains protein, which is used to help build muscle. Muscle requires more energy to sustain than fat, and therefore, more muscle means burning more calories. However, for this to work you also need to incorporate exercise in your regimen to build the muscles.
Secondly, most soil is nutrient poor and so the vegetables with calcium may not have much of that nutrient. Getting your calcium from vegetables may not be as effective as getting it from milk.
The Other Side
Opponents of this claim, however, say that milk actually makes you gain weight. It is full of saturated fat, which has been proven time and time again to be unhealthy. Studies have also been conducted that show that children who drink more then 3 servings a day of milk in fact gained weight.
However, the dairy industry says that their claims never included children. Plus, their recommendation was for 3 servings of milk—not more than that.
This is a hot topic that neither side can prove conclusively. Studies indicate that milk can help you lose weight, that it makes you gain weight and that it is neutral in regard to weight gained or lost. Since there is no definitive proof one way or the other and neither side in completely unbiased, it is hard to say one way or another which is true. The best thing to do is to decide for yourself which side you believe and stick with that.