The Optional Milk in a Healthy Diet

The Optional Milk in a Healthy Diet

Drinking milk isn’t necessary for optimum health for people who consume a balanced diet, according to Walter Willett and Jorge Chavarro of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Professors of nutrition and epidemiology Willett and Chavarro discuss when it’s and isn’t necessary to consume milk.

Willett agreed that milk is a “complete food” that can help close nutritional gaps, particularly in regions of the world where starchy foods like rice or corn make up the majority of a person’s diet. However, for those following a balanced diet, milk is unnecessary as whole grains, beans, vegetables, fish, nuts, seeds, and tofu all provide calcium.

Willett suggests taking a daily supplement that has 600 international units of vitamin D and 500 milligrams of calcium for anyone who are worried about their intake. But he also pointed out that “if someone has a good diet, then they probably don’t need milk” or other supplements.

Chavarro talked about the idea that kids who drink milk get taller. “Compared to other settings, the effect seems to be more pronounced when there is extremely deficient nutrition,” he stated. Milk can affect growth in children who don’t get enough nutrients; for children who can eat healthily, “it’s not going to make [them] super tall.”

Sanchita Patil

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