Milk: Nutritional Needs and Gain Weight
As per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Indians need to consume about 300 gms of milk a day to meet a substantial portion of their daily nutritional needs. However, the average Indian per capita consumption is only about half of the same. Indian diet is rich in carbohydrates and saturated fats which have led to India being a hotspot for a host of lifestyle diseases, especially across young adults. Indians also do not consume enough nutrient-dense foods which further reduce our nutritional well-being.
Milk remains one of the most widely accessible and affordable food products for Indians at large. Substituting milk entirely with other superfoods(leafy greens, fruits, legumes, etc) comes at a significant cost which is unaffordable and inaccessible for most. A glass of fortified milk provides about 30% of our daily nutritional needs which other superfoods may not be able to provide us with. Food fads and a host of observational research studies have led us to believe that consumption of milk aids in weight gain. There is currently no conclusive study to prove the fact that plain milk is a significant contributor to adult or childhood obesity. A glass of plain milk contains natural forming sugars.
Adding sugar-laden food products like cereal, health drinks, etc may make milk more appetizing for kids however the added sugar can contribute to weight gain. Milk is a complete food in itself and in fact, helps our bodies control hunger pangs which is important to prevent weight gain. Sugary drinks including fruit juices, on the other hand, contain about 9 teaspoons of added sugar while a glass of milk contains about 3 teaspoons of natural sugars. A lesser-known fact about sodas is that they are diuretic and the high dose of caffeine can lead to dehydration. This compels people to drink large amounts of sodas at a time, unlike milk or milk flavored drinks.
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