A Question About Milk

Because milk is a balanced nutritional food, with complex carbs and protein, can this be a good choice as a between-meal snack? I am not lactose intolerant and drink low-fat milk.


  • If it satiates you well enough to act as a snack, go for it. I don't find liquids to be satiating at all, but each person is different in that regard.

    32F | 5'1'' | SW: 190 | CW: 120 | GW: 110

  • @Nemo

    Liquid calories don't seem to satiate as well as solid calories. If you are looking for something with dairy, I'd opt for Greek yogurt with some fruit mixed in (the combination of protein + fibre tends to be more filling).

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • Not disagreeing with anything said here. But in the US milk is heavily fortified with vitamin D. Yogurt and cheese generally are not. Might be a factor worth considering.

    "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." Michael Pollan

  • edited July 9

    Drink it if you want, just don't go thinking that Milk is good for you. Most people are lactose intolerant, and many do not have notable symptoms, but that doesn't mean you are fine. Most people still have inflammation in the gut and over time it can do real damage. Beyond that cows milk is meant to nurture and grow a 2,000lbs animal, not a human. That being said I still eat cheese, eat ice cream, eat pizza, and use milk in recipes, so I'm not saying remove it from diet (though that would be best), but maybe it shouldn't be your go to snack.

    You can also try almond milk. I actually like it better. I get unsweetened vanilla. Just the idea of drinking milk is kind of gross to me anyway. I just imagine a person laying under a cow squirting milk into their mouth. Yuck. Almond milk is just crushed up almonds and water.

    For the record im not some health nut, but just ask yourself why you no longer see commercials and ads saying "Milk, does a body good". Because they don't want to get sued.

  • edited July 10

    It really comes down to personal preference, and where it fits in to your daily nutritional goals. I would personally go for something with a little protein & fibre in it, and a glass of water to compliment the fibre. There are lots of good options, so don't pigeon hole yourself.

    "The main issues associated with almond milk production are water use and pesticide use, which may produce long lasting effects on the environment in drought-stricken California, where more than 80% of the world's almonds are grown."


    A glass of milk, be it almond or dairy is not the end of the world; both taste fine. Where it fits in to your daily nutritional goals is more relevant.

  • I'm not lactose intolerant--no symptoms and genetic testing shows this--and I like milk, especially milk from Jersey cows. A little chocolate syrup added to milk is good after exercise.

  • Nemo, you think lactose intolerance is binary. Either you are or you aren't. That's not how it works. Basically everyone is lactose intolerant, some people have it worse than others, some people have symptoms and some people don't. Just because you aren't having gut cramps and diarrhea doesn't mean your digestive track doesn't have low grade inflammation. That low grade inflammation OVER TIME, like 15-20 years will cause you some major problems in the future. All good until you hit 40-50 and then you will start having some major problems. This might not happen to you, but I bet it does. Older people don't talk about it, but we almost all have digestive issues. Foods we use to be able to eat that cause us pain now. This comes from eating inflammatory foods when we were young. (sugar and milk are the worst culprits). Like I said I am not some health nut. I eat pizza and ice cream all the time. However, I strongly suggest you don't make milk something you drink on a daily basis. If you need help just imagine squirting milk out of a cows nipple right into your mouth...

  • Great conversation! Just wanted to add some additional points as an RD:

    • Inflammation (even low-grade) can be measured. I often hear people referring to inflammation as some secretive lurking illness that can't be identified. It can. :)
    • One of the biggest contributors to low-grade inflammation is our body weight. Changes to how we procure, process, and consume food, along with many, many other factors has resulted in our world gaining weight over time (and increasing rates of inflammation).
    • From a dietary perspective, saturated and trans fat are known to increase markers of inflammation. High-fat dairy is naturally rich in these types of fat so removal of cream, ice cream, cheese, etc. could improve markers of inflammation.
    • The health effects of dairy are very mixed; you can find research that both supports and refutes the inclusion of dairy in our diets. The challenge is isolating these health effects to one food (or food group) and ensuring that the study was conducted in way to minimize any bias or conflicts of interest.
    • Older adults will experience higher rates of inflammation as the body's antioxidant (inflammation-fighting system) declines with age.

    In my practice, I advise people to limit liquid calories, which include sweetened plant milks and dairy milk (contains ~ 12 g or 3 tsp of sugar). My personal favourite milk to recommend is oat milk as it has a low carbon footprint and is low in sugar. If someone wishes to include dairy, I prefer it come in food source and be reduced in saturated fat to lower inflammation.

    If someone has a risk of prostate cancer, I'm more likely to restrict cow's milk based on the research to date.

    (As an additional note, I recognize that there are both environmental and ethical reasons to avoid dairy but those are outside my scope of practice as a dietitian).

    Happy to provide additional information on any of these points if anyone is interested!

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • Roodbe--You may be right. My interest is in getting most of my nutrients from a balance of foods rather than from supplements where possible. Milk has, in addition to protein, calcium, which older adult males like myself need (about 1200 mg daily). Obesity causes all sorts of problems, including cardiovascular disease, which I have. I limit my saturated fat intake to no more than 10% of my daily diet, which includes plenty of fruits and vegetables,virtually no processed foods, and sufficient protein to avoid muscle loss (along with resistance training). Cronometer is a tool to help me meet appropriate dietary goals.

    P.S. I worked on my uncle's farm as a kid and have experienced the direct milk hit from the cow's udder. I prefer it bottled from Jersey cows.

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