A glass of milk is hydrating and at the same highly filling. It’s only normal if you wonder if milk is a drink or food. Milk is a household staple that is packed with all nutrients.
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, says, “There aren’t many other single foods that come close to the nutrients you get from one cup of milk”.
The above statement is not false. Milk contains calories, carbs, protein, fats, cholesterol, calcium, vitamin D, and other vitamins and minerals. It also contains water alongside the essential nutrients which makes it highly hydrating.
That being said, let’s find out if food or drink best describes milk.
What is food?
Food is a nutritional substance that can be eaten or drunk to support life, growth, and development. Food contains nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals. It also provides energy and maintains and repairs organs and tissues.
What is a drink?
A drink is a liquid like water, soft drinks, milk, smoothies, juices, coffee, and tea. Drinks are taken in either to satisfy thirst, for refreshment, or to provide nutrients or energy. And some drinks are cultural symbols of a particular people.
Is milk food or a drink?
Milk is food. Although it is in a liquid form, milk is food. Milk is a nutrient-dense liquid and natural food that provides the body with a lot of essential nutrients.
For instance, from birth until a year, every human needs milk for survival. And milk alone is enough for the growth and development of babies until they become adults.
Why is milk called a perfect food?
Milk is referred to as a perfect or complete food because of its nutritional value. It is rich in carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
Additionally, a trusted source confirms that milk is a perfect food because it contains 18 out of the 22 essential nutrients required for the sustenance of growth and life support.
Can you take milk as food when taking medications?
No. As mentioned earlier, milk alone is not enough for the survival of an adult. Moreover, milk contains compounds like casein, calcium, and magnesium which can interfere with the absorption of antibiotics, iron supplements, and thyroid drugs.
Benefits of drinking milk
There are lots of benefits to enjoy when you drink milk. They include:
- A good dose of beneficial nutrients
- Also, milk is a complete protein because it contains all the nine essential amino acids that the body needs. It also contains casein and whey proteins which are high-quality proteins
- Milk promotes teeth and bones growth and development
- Drinking milk aids weight gain because of its calories, fats, and carbs content
- Milk is also good for weight loss and management if you drink it in proportion. It is a rich source of protein that can keep you feeling full for a longer period, suppressing your appetite and reducing your food intake
- Milk has antacid properties which provide relief for heartburn
- Milk is highly hydrating
- Drinking milk can help improve the appearance of your skin
- Milk is a rich source of vitamin D which helps to regulate serotonin levels. Serotonin is a compound that helps to improve mood, appetite, and sleep
- Additionally, drinking milk is good for muscle growth, easing stress, and increases resistance to certain diseases
Healthy ways to use milk
- Use milk to eat your cereals
- Add milk to oatmeal
- Use milk to make cheese
- Add milk to sauces and soups
- Use milk to make yogurt, smoothies, and milkshakes
- Add milk to baked goods and pastries
- Cook your chicken with milk
- Make chocolate milk or buttermilk
- Make pudding with milk
- Whip up mac and cheese with milk
- Make whipped cream
- Make white sauce
- Make dumplings for winter
- Indulge yourself in making homemade custard
- Meat fritters are also a good idea
- Make creamy chicken pasta or chicken rolls with milk
- Bake a bread
- Cook curry sausages
- Make meatloaf
Are there side effects of drinking milk?
If you drink milk in moderation, there shouldn’t be any side effects. Otherwise, you may be giving your body too many calories. Also, too much consumption of milk can make you break out with acne or eczema.
If you have a dairy allergy or lactose intolerance, you can’t take just any milk. For instance, you may experience slight inconveniences when you take milk from animal sources or milk that contains lactose.
Additionally, too much milk can make your bones brittle and increase the risk of fractures.
Is milk a beverage?
Yes, it is. A beverage is any liquid that you can consume and this includes milk. Moreover, milk can be used alongside other ingredients to make nutritious, delicious, and satisfying beverages like smoothies and milkshakes.
What does it mean to be dairy-free?
To be dairy-free is to be on a diet that excludes dairy products like dairy milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, and cream. People who follow this type of diet either have a dairy allergy or it’s a matter of personal preference.
Is milk good for lactose intolerance?
The right milk can be good for lactose intolerance. A lactose intolerance sufferer cannot take dairy milk because it contains lactose. But they can take milk like LACTAID and plant-based milk like soy milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, flaxseed milk, and almond milk.
Yes, you don’t and can’t chew milk but it is more food than it is a drink. Milk contains nine essential nutrients which makes it a complete food. However, you can’t live off milk alone. Moreover, no one food is sufficient to sustain a person because too much of a thing can be bad.
While milk is healthy, you still have to take in other foods to meet up with the recommended daily intake of individual nutrients. Also, stick with the type of milk that works for your digestive system.
Thanks for reading.
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