Science topic of the week: Lactose intolerance
We’ve all heard this ubiquitous message from the dairy industry: “milk, it does a body good”. But how much “good” it actually does is a topic that is very much up for debate, and depends on numerous factors, including your age and the enzymes in your stomach.
Without a doubt, milk is extremely beneficial to newborns, and not only provides them with nutrition, but also important immune factors. As we get older, milk may not only not be beneficial, in some ways it might be harmful.
One way in which milk is supposed to be beneficial, is through the claim that it promotes bone health, because it is a “good source of calcium and vitamin D”. Multiple large meta-analyses have not been able to show a connection between milk consumption and risk of hip fracture later in life. Calcium and vitamin D supplementation likely are beneficial (especially to people in colder climates who are often deficient in vitamin D), but milk is actually not a great natural source of either. Most of the vitamin D in milk is an additive, meaning you could just take a supplement and receive the same benefits. This might seem more attractive after considering some of the potential negatives of drinking milk:
- Lactose sensitivity: Levels of lactose intolerance vary among individuals, with some people being completely intolerant, to others being so mildly intolerant that they may not even notice symptoms (note, intolerance is different from allergy, but that’s a whole other issue we don’t have time to get into at the moment).
- High caloric content: milk is a very energy dense beverage, especially flavored varieties (like chocolate milk). What do you think has more sugar, a cup of chocolate milk, or a Hershey’s chocolate bar?
All in all, whether or not milk consumption is good or bad is very much up for debate. Personally, we feel that most things are good for you in moderation. We usually have a half-gallon of Trader Joe’s lactose-free milk in the fridge for making lattes. Here are some links about the milk debate so you can decide for yourself:
Exercise move of the week: Inverted Row
Take your back exercises to the next level with the inverted row. This is a great move that requires very little equipment, but works many muscle groups, including your back, traps, rhomboids, lats, and more. Simply take a barbell and rack it at about waist height. Then, slide underneath, straighten your legs, and pull your body weight up. For an added challenge, instead of resting your feet on the ground, plant them to the wall with static friction. For more info on what muscles are being worked, click here.
Recipe of the week: 5-minute paleo banana bread, from Paleo Gluten Free Eats
This is a great recipe that’s not only delicious, but easy to make and full of wholesome ingredients. After tossing all the ingredients into a blender, just pour into a bread pan, and place in the oven. After it cools, we’ll slice it, and then place into the freezer. This makes it perfect for a quick breakfast on the go. We mostly stay true to this recipe (it’s so simple after all), but we will substitute pureed dates instead of stevia. For some extra sweetness, we’ll add in raisins.