Thursday, September 18, 2008

Milk does do a body good – for staving off diabetes


Milk does a body good. Young children need it for nutrition (afterall we are mammals, milk is our required first food). Calcium helps build and maintain a strong skeletal system – for children and adults (prevents osteoporosis). Dairy lobbyists even claim that milk can help with weight loss, too. I’m sure you’ve seen the cereal ads aimed at women encouraging them to drink 3 servings of low-fat airy a day…in addition to a reasonable diet and exercise…can help them recover that slimmer waistline. But I discovered another great reason to love dairy: Dairy Blocks Diabetes.

Say what, drinking milk can help prevent the sugar? According to some research produced by Harvard, seems so.

Lactose, or milk sugar, is metabolized, or broken down and used by the body, at a slower rate than say soda. Breaking down sugars at a slower rate supplies your body with a steady dose of energy preventing sugar rushes and crashes – which can throw your insulin delivery system off. Malfunctioning insulin delivery is what causes diabetes.

Now some things might make some sense now. I love dairy and consume a lot, more than most people I know – cereal, cream in coffee, ice cream, cheese, etc. And this offers me a plausible reason why might despite my pre-diabetes risk factors (e.g. weight issues and family history of diabetes) my blood sugar levels remain normal. My recent doctor’s visit said so.
I am thankful that I am NOT lactose-intolerant. I hypothesize that I’ve kept my milk enzymes (lactase) up – continuing to drink and eat dairy in high amounts into my teen and adult years. So unlike most adult African-Americans, I can digest milk just fine. I blame it on my up-bringing. I come from a nice-sized family and there always seemed to be babies in the house making buying a gallon of milk every other day common.

But let me be clear, getting your weight under control and eating right is your absolute best defense against diabetes. Don’t go drinking milk thinking that’s all you need to do. There are no short-cuts to improved health.

I know there are some anti-dairy people out there; some food/health advisors recommend adults stay away from dairy. I know some people like that. I have some cult-ish relatives who are very strange about some food groups. They really freak me out how they demonize some foods and exalt other – and nobody has ever taken a class in A&P, nutrition, or heck Home Economics. One of the food groups they go on about is dairy. With the exception of people who are lactose-intolerant or have food allergies, I can’t figure out what makes dairy so bad? They once offered that it causes phlegm and that is true. When I have a cold or am congested I don’t want dairy. It makes me feel all stuffy.

But, just my effort to educate and share information.

4 comments:

cawn said...

Hi nice post the milk,having your blog as reference makes my mba education in australia much easier especially in science,keep it up.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

u inow these studies are all over the place about 12 to 15 years ago it was the opposite

TJ said...

I've seen the recent studies about milk and weight control and I agree with all-mi-t because there was this big "avoid milk at all costs" movement going on in the late 90's.

The Urban Scientist said...

It might be better for some people than for others. Nutrition is and never has been a black and white issue.