#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Is Cow Milk For Cows?


Q: A doctor in diaspora told me milk is for cow and not too good for consumption.

A: Very interesting comment. If the idea is that the milk we are discussing comes from cows and therefore should be taken by cows, I don’t necessarily disagree. Cows should definitely take their milk but it raises very interesting questions about humans. Should we continue breastfeeding at an adult age? 😀

Having said that, there have been reports that taking milk causes inflammation and therefore the body secretes a lot of mucous to counteract that. There’s still not sufficient evidence to support this. Currently, we know that milk is very beneficial. However, some knowledge will help you choose better from the different types of milk that exist

Skimmed milk and full cream milk are types of cow milk. Full cream milk has a lot of saturated fats. A diet rich in saturated fats is associated with heart disease. Skimmed milk has the least amount of fats (about 0.1%). There is also semi-skimmed milk which has about 2% fat content.

Here are the recommendations based on age:

  • From birth till 6 months, a baby should be getting breast milk only and he should get it on demand several times a day at least 2-3 hourly
  • From 6 months to 1 year, continue breast milk with other complementary feeds like fortified cereals

Before 1 year of age, your baby should not get cow milk (the regular milk we have). He should only get formula (baby milk) and/or breast milk.

  • From 1 year to 2 years, the child should get at least 2 cups of full cream milk. The fat is particularly important to ensure proper brain development

Full cream milk is advised for children from 1 year when they can start taking regular milk till 2 years. The fat in the full cream milk is needed for proper brain development.

After the child turns 2 years, please switch to semi-skimmed milk or 2% milk if you can get that, up to 5 years of age. Your child should get at least 2 1/2 – 3 cups of semi-skimmed milk or other dairy products daily.

  • From 5 years to 8 years, your child should get at least 2 1/2 – 3 cups of skimmed milk or other dairy products daily
  • From 9 years till adulthood, you should get at least 3 – 4 cups of skimmed milk or dairy daily

Remember that your milk intake should form part of your calorie intake per day. Be sure to take that into account. So guys, get your milk mustache going. It’s certainly one source of protein and calcium that you should not be ignoring. Be sure to check that the milk is also fortified with Vitamin D which ensures that the calcium is properly absorbed. If you are at risk of prostate cancer or have other concerns, be sure to discuss your milk intake with your doctor.

There are a couple of people that may want to avoid milk though:

  • Those with lactose intolerance (we’ll talk about this tomorrow)
  • Those without lactose intolerance and yet when they take diary, they feel tired, sluggish, bloated, congested and/or their tummy feels out of sorts
  • Those who just don’t want to take dairy for whatever reason. It’s a free world 🙂

If you’re not sure where you belong but you think something is ‘off’ when you take diary, please have a chat with your nutritionist or doctor.

All the best!

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