Milk had been an essential and integral part of our nutrition plans for almost 8000 years now. However, for so many decades, we have been warned against consumption of cheese and milk. Mothers had reluctantly held back milk from their adolescent children which they themselves considered and cherished as the purest and best food. We had been trapped by the cholesterol ghost for too long and too snugly. We dreaded the thought of eating cheese lest we should get those scary blockages in arteries of our hearts. We deliberately avoided morning breakfast with milk paying heed to the statuary warning about saturated fats and their catastrophic bad effects on our health.
Though obesity raised its ugly head in the privileged few of our society as an epidemic, the cause happened to be more of excessive plain sugars and trans fats than milk. We had missed the term moderation in ” milk consumption ” all these years. We forgot that Cholesterol is as essential to our body as drinking water. If there is zero cholesterol in our bodies, we may cease to exist. So, a moderate consumption of cholesterol is essential to our existence. As with any other, it should not be too much of a good thing . Exponents of milk intake argue that it is an important source of calcium , phosphorus and vitamins D, B 1 and B12.
Recently there had been an upsurge of recommendations about cholerstrol consumption. Two important scientific papers have sought to change our perception about cholesterol consumption in the recent past. The first guidelines released in 2015 were from United states department of agriculture which is the premier center for nutrition policy and promotion. This agency was actually responsible for “ Food pyramid” and “ My plate” concepts that were vogue in previous years. It had recently in a revised guideline has upgraded the status of cholesterol consumption. Before the documents were made public there was a daily limit of cholesterol consumption to 300 mg. This limit now has been revised with a suggestion that there is no upper limit of consumption of cholesterol. That translates into enhanced consumption of eggs and unsaturated fats. However the limit for saturated fats has been fixed at 10% of total calories and Trans fats are a strict taboo. However still moderation is the key and guidelines note that fat foods must be consumed with restraint and caution. Thus it does not mean unlimited milk and eggs, but certainly a glass of milk and a egg at breakfast may not be much of harm.
Another study that received attention was by Belgian Bone Club and the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases. The major conclusions from this study were that people who have arthritis or are at a high risk for the same, may consume milk on a daily basis. According to the recommendation moderate consumption of milk may not increase the risk of heart disease, particularly if it is of low fat.
Intake of up to two servings of dairy products per day appears to be safe and may confer a favorable benefit with regard to bone health.
This it seems our understanding of milk has come full circle. We may had been denying ourselves of a good virtue and it may seem satisfying to many that something as pure as milk has finally been restored to its rightful place in our diets, which it duly deserved.