Milk provides the body with essential nutrients, vitamins and proteins. Calcium and vitamin D, two main components of milk, aid in strong bone and teeth formation, making it a vital beverage particularly for growing children and older women at risk of developing osteoporosis, a disease that weakens bones and triggers a reduction in bone density. Some people consume large amounts of milk, which could be the result of underlying conditions, dietary restrictions or psychological cravings. Those with milk cravings should monitor their consumption to determine the cause.
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Milk, although it is healthy, has unwanted saturated fats, which cripples any diet. When milk-lovers remove or restrict their milk consumption, cravings may develop. Indulging or depriving yourself of milk impacts your ultimate weight management goals. Ignoring a craving may lead to an overpowering urge to drink milk. After consumption, feelings of guilt develop, and you avoid milk once more until another urge strikes. A solution would be to substitute whole or 2 percent milk with fat-free milk and practice portion control.
Milk cravings and consumption have been described by patients and researchers as a remedy for body weakness. A case study published by the "German Journal of Psychiatry" evaluated a 46-year-old woman who consumed 4 to 5 liters of milk a day to alleviate body weakness. Physical and psychological tests were normal; however, when she did not drink milk, she was unable to perform her daily duties.
Research literature indicates that craving large amounts of milk may be indicative of a rational addiction. The "Journal of Health Economics" reported a study by Auld and Grootendorst, 2004, that evaluated the addictiveness of milk as compared to eggs, oranges, apples and cigarettes. Results indicated that milk is highly addictive, which leads to milk cravings.
Cravings are common in those who have developed a food allergy to milk. The onset of symptoms, which include hives, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and itchy skin, may present themselves between a few minutes to a few hours after consumption. Do not confuse milk allergies with milk protein or lactose intolerance; they are not the same condition. Intolerance usually causes bloating, diarrhea and gas when various dairy products are consumed.
It’s no secret that many pregnant women crave foods they previously hated, like milk, while they avoid former comfort foods. Without question milk is beneficial to both you and your baby, so adding it to your gestational diet is a smart idea, but be careful of consuming large amounts. Your digestive track may be easily upset by the lactose found in milk. Test the effects of milk on your digestive system while at home to determine how well your body handles your new favorite beverage.
- FAQs: Nutrition and Well-being A to Z
- University of Marylan Medical Center: Calcium
- Case Report: Pathological Milk Drinking
- Journal of Health Economics: An empiracal analysis of milk addiction
- Mayo Clinic: Milk Allergy
- Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine: The Spectrum of Milk Intolerance Syndromes