More than half of the world is lactose-intolerant. Does this mean they’ll miss the milk protein and calcium from dairy?
Although milk is a nutrient-dense food with significant nutritional value, there’s another side of it that you don’t know, yet.
After learning in-depth about protein in milk, we start to question milk itself.
Is milk protein really good for our health?
Let’s find out.
Does Milk Have Protein?
The milk protein consists of two different types of protein: insoluble casein and soluble whey.
These milk proteins are also used to produce products such as milk protein concentrates (MPC), whey protein isolate, protein powder, supplements, and added to other products, like cottage cheese.
How much protein in milk?
The total protein content in cow’s milk is approximately 3.5% by weight (36g/L).
Milk protein consists of casein, making up approximately 82% (29.5g/L), and the remaining 18% (6.3g/L) is whey.
Milk is known as a significant source of high-quality protein (or complete protein) — because it contains all nine essential amino acids.
These amino acids, especially leucine, help to minimize weakening of muscles and can stimulate muscle synthesis.
What is casein?
When the milk thickens during cheesemaking, that’s casein.
Casein protein, like all proteins, is a source of dietary amino acids. It is a slow protein due to its slower digestion rate leading to slow and prolonged production of amino acids in the blood.
Its family consists of different proteins (peptides) such as α-s1, α-s2, ß, and 6 with different compositions and variations.
Some of the casein’s functions in our bodies are:
- To carry calcium and phosphate and form a clot in the stomach for efficient digestion.
- To supply calcium due to its high phosphate content. Phosphate allows milk to contain much more calcium.
- AlphaS-1 (α-s1) can reduce anxiety and stress and blood pressure. However, it is also known to cause allergies.
What is whey?
It’s the remaining liquid after the milk thickens; the same liquid you see on top of greek yogurt.
Whey is a fast protein due to its rapid digestion that provides higher concentrations of amino acids in the blood; however, this response is short-lived.
Whey protein is a high-quality, easy-to-digest source of milk protein that can quickly help you hit your targeted daily protein goals. Due to the high concentration of protein, whey helps you to produce more muscles, limit muscle loss during low-calorie diets and modestly limit fat gain when you eat more calories.
Important note: If you have damaged livers or kidneys, do not consume whey protein without consulting your doctor first as they can exacerbate pre-existing damage.
Casein vs whey: What’s the difference?
The real question is, which one is a better source of protein?
Casein and whey are both by-products of cheesemaking, but they’re fundamentally different.
Casein digests slowly and sustains the supply of amino acids, allowing the body to retain and use those amino acids more effectively.
Whey digests quickly but provides a higher spike of amino acids into the blood compared to casein.
Do they make a difference?
Several studies have found out that the decrease of body fat, and the increase of percentage of strength, power, and agility by groups that consume whey protein and casein protein are, actually, almost the same. To conclude, these studies found no significant differences between casein vs whey on overall performance gains.
Now, let’s look at this from a different perspective.
We’re going to zoom in to one of the critical amino acids present in casein and whey: leucine.
Leucine is a vital amino acid for the regulation of blood-sugar levels, muscle growth, repair of muscle and bone tissue, growth hormone production, and wound healing.
And whey protein has a higher concentration of leucine compared to casein.
This makes whey better than casein, but wait.
While the debate between casein vs whey is still going on, we, the Mindvalley’s WildFit community, believe in a different approach.
We recommend getting healthy and lean protein from plants and animals, but never from milk protein.
And we have a strong reason to spread this message across the world.
The Truth About Milk
We are not evolved to deal with the changes we have made.
— Eric Edmeades, Author of Mindvalley’s WildFit Program.
Is milk really good for your health?
Eric Edmeades, the author of Mindvalley’s WildFit Program, set out on a journey to study extensively about our diet. One of his core topics is milk.
His discovery shocked us all.
He found out that, “Milk and dairy products actually have no place in the human digestive system, and your health will dramatically improve by eliminating dairy products from your diet.“
And here’s why.
Throughout evolution, animals have evolved to produce the perfect milk for their offspring (of the same species). A cow’s mother will produce the milk that fulfills all of her calf’s nutrition needs — which is totally different from what we need.
|Nutrients in each cup (244g)||Cow’s Milk||Human’s Milk|
From the table above, cow’s milk clearly has too much calcium and protein in milk that we don’t need.
Dairy products also have a high amount of saturated fat and can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
The protein in milk has been associated with type 1 diabetes in infants and showed a 30% reduction of risk if infants avoid cow’s milk protein for at least the first three months.
Above all, this is the most shocking truth about milk.
No evidence can prove that increasing dairy intake prevents bone fracture. And it’s not proven in the long term that we need 1,000mg of calcium per day, which is much higher than what we really need.
In fact, we need only 500mg to 700mg of calcium per day.
If milk isn’t good for your body, what should you do?
Look for a variety of plant-based protein and lean sources of protein. Try consuming protein from lean poultry, fish, vegetables, nuts, and legumes.
It is also essential to keep in mind the “protein package“ — the nutrients that come along with protein-dense foods such as carbohydrates, fats, and other micronutrients.
What is your biggest “AHA” from this article? Share your comments below!