6 Myths About Milk To Stop Believing

by Jillian See
FOOD  |  November 24, 2017
  • Milk gives you more than just calcium
    1 / 7 Milk gives you more than just calcium

    High in calcium and good for building strong bones those are undisputed facts of milk. But do you drink it daily? According to a 2010 report by the Health Promotion Board, 50 per cent of Singaporeans do not consume milk daily despite knowing its nutritional benefits.

    A first-of-its-kind study on milk consumption in Singapore found that adults aged 18 to 50 don’t see the importance of drinking milk, which can lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis when they’re older.

    Study author Dr Kalpana Bhaskaran, domain lead for Applied Nutrition and Glycemic Index Research said “The lack of motivation among adult Singaporeans to change their daily diets despite being presented with evidence of the benefits of milk in preventing chronic diseases such as osteoporosis and diabetes is particularly alarming. This is especially worrying given our rapidly ageing society, when one in four Singaporeans above age 65 will develop a chronic disease.”

    Here, we debunk six commonly-held beliefs about milk, so you have more reason to start drinking.

    Photos: www.123rf.com

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  • Myth #1: Milk is fattening
    2 / 7 Myth #1: Milk is fattening

    According to the study by Dr Kalpana, Singaporeans think that milk is 46 per cent fat. Fact: The fat content of whole (full cream) milk is only less than 4 per cent. That’s an overestimation of 10 times! Whole milk has around 4g of fat per 100ml.

    Plus, it contains proteins and carbs to keep you satiated. That helps to curb cravings and prevent overeating. The next time you’re feeling peckish, have a cup of milk.

    (Also read: 10 Ways To Avoid Overeating During PMS)

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  • Myth #2: UHT milk isn't as nutritious as fresh milk
    3 / 7 Myth #2: UHT milk isn't as nutritious as fresh milk

    Don’t look down on UHT (ultra-high temperature processing) milk. It’s cheaper than fresh milk, has a longer shelf life, and doesn’t require refrigeration until you open the pack. More importantly, it’s no less nutritious than fresh milk.

    UHT milk is heated above 135 deg C for one to two seconds so that the beverage can last for several months without spoiling. But most nutrients in UHT milk are retained. Calcium wise, UHT milk contains 6g per 100ml, while fresh milk has 7g.


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  • Myth #3: Lactose in milk is bad for digestion
    4 / 7 Myth #3: Lactose in milk is bad for digestion

    The word lactose is inevitably associated with indigestion and bloatedness. But guess what: lactose actually helps with digestion. Lactose is a prebiotic that promotes the growth of good gut bacteria for a healthy digestive tract.

    Also, lactose is a slow-releasing sugar, which means you won’t get those mid-afternoon sugar level spikes. This is why milk is great for diabetics and as a pick-me-up.

    (Also read: Australia’s A2 Milk Is Your Best Bet If You Think You’re “Lactose Intolerant”)

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  • Myth #4: I can get my calcium from other sources besides milk
    5 / 7 Myth #4: I can get my calcium from other sources besides milk

    There are many alternatives to get your calcium in. However, you’ll need to consume ridiculous portions of those foods to hit your recommended 800mg of calcium intake a day.

    A 250ml cup of milk provides 300mg calcium. In contrast, you’ll need to consume this amount of food to get your cup’s worth of calcium.

    Spinach –  16 servings
    Salmon – 20 servings
    Red beans – 10 servings
    Anchovies – 3 tablespoons*

    *FYI: 3 tablespoons of anchovies has 560mg of sodium. That’s more than a third of your daily sodium limit (1500mg).

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  • Myth #5: I’m lactose-intolerant, so I can’t drink milk
    6 / 7 Myth #5: I’m lactose-intolerant, so I can’t drink milk

    Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose properly due to a deficiency in the lactase enzyme. People who are lactose-intolerant experience stomach discomfort such as bloating and tummy aches after consuming milk and dairy products.

    (Also read: 8 Reasons To Have Milk In Your Diet Even If You”re Lactose-Intolerant)

    However, avoiding milk and dairy products could make things worse. According to Dana Hunnes, a senior dietitian at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, most people turn to solid foods instead of milk for calcium, which makes them lose the lactase enzyme, and in turn, the ability to digest lactose.

    The good news is, unless you’re clinically diagnosed with lactose intolerance, the effects of “lactose intolerance” can be reversed. Gradually introduce milk into your diet to increase your stomach tolerance for lactose. Start by drinking small amounts, about 50ml of milk once or twice a day.

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  • Myth #6: Adults don’t need as much milk as kids
    7 / 7 Myth #6: Adults don’t need as much milk as kids

    Growing kids need calcium from milk to build strong bones. But it’s equally important for adults to drink milk. In fact, the recommended calcium intake for children and adults are comparable.

    The Health Promotion Board recommends adults aged 19 to 50 to consume 800mg calcium daily, while adolescents aged 10 to 18 should have 1,000mg. An easy way to hit your daily calcium requirement is to drink a cup of milk before or after each meal.



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