India is the largest consumers of milk globally, consuming more than the entire European Union. Finding the best milk in Indian market is quite tough but we love to consume milk in distinct forms, be it directly or in sweets, ice-creams, etc.
There are few questions that we must answer:
• Is the milk we are drinking safe for drinking?
• Which Type of milk is best for us?
So wasting no time, let’s get started
Milk adulteration is a common problem in India. Though water still remains the most common milk adulterant.
Detergent, caustic soda, glucose, white paint, starch, and refined oil are also being used increasingly to make milk thicker. Adulterants like detergents, salt, and glucose add up to the thickness and viscosity of the diluted milk while starch prevents its curdling.
Besides detergents and paints there are other dangerous chemicals like Oxytocin, Formalin, Hydrogen peroxide, etc
With so many harmful chemicals possible in the milk, it is a good habit to check the quality of milk you are drinking each day. Wait for the next blog to know how you can simply do that at home.
Which is the best milk in India
There are basically three types of milk in Indian market
First is the carton milk or homogenized milk, which is the most expensive milk in Indian market. With a high shelf life of 100 to 180 days and this milk is produced by the process called homogenization, which is a mechanical process where fat globules are broken down into smaller droplets, therefore you don’t see the cream or fats on top of homogenized milk like others.
There have been multiple claims on the harmful effects of Homogenised milk increasing chances of heart disease due to smaller fat molecules. But still, no conclusive results have been drawn.
However, given the ample availability of fresh milk the homogenized milk with possible harmful effects and a longer shelf life may not be the preferred option.
Second type of milk is the pasteurized packet milk which contains a wide array of selections like toned, double toned, full cream, and cow milk. These are the usual go-to options for most of us but Are these packets milk beneficial for us? Not essentially. Because nowadays these milk packets contain mixed A1 milk mixed with A2.
This brings us to a very important question What is A1 and A2 milk?
Milk has two types of proteins casein and whey. Further, casein is divided into alpha, beta, and kappa casein, dividing beta-casein more, it can be categorized in A1 or A2 type.
A1 and A2 protein depend upon the type of cow that the milk came from, most of the foreign breeds like jersey cow, Holstein Fresian cow, etc which are not native to India, have A1 type milk.
The saddest part is A1 milk protein upon digestion produces a compound called BCM7 which has been related to serious diseases like heart, autism, type -1 diabetes, etc.
If you look at the US, 3 out of 4 people can be found are lactose intolerant. Also, certain documentaries suggest the adverse effects of dairy in the diet.
In that context, they are talking about the A1 milk which is a standard in the US and other western countries. A1 milk is the result of excessive cross-breeding and genetic mutation started some 80 years ago.
If we compare it to Indian standards, we have our old Desi A2 milk cow breeds like Gir, Red Sindhi, Tharparkar, Sahiwal and Kankrej. They are carefully bred and most of them produce A2 milk. A2 milk has benefits like a high level of omega-3 that cleans cholesterol deposits of blood vessels, cerebrosides which increases the brainpower, strontium which enhances the body immunity and protects it from radiation and rich in vitamin d for strong bones.
Even in the Ayurvedic scripture “CharakaSamhita” the milk is always referred to as the desi cow milk which is not the A1 exotic milk which we are consuming these days.
Lower milk production by A2 cows, is often the reason that pure A2 milk is almost two times the cost of regular packet milk from major brands. However, it is better to drink less pure milk than drinking milk that harms your body.
Apart from A2 Cows, buffalo milk is another source of A2 milk and is recommended for those who want to put on weight.
Third type is the less available and expensive goat and camel milk. Both of which are highly nutritious and mentioned in high praise in the ancient book “CharakaSamhita”. It advises a patient to avoid food and water and drink camel milk for a week and even a whole month, depending upon the strength of patient and stage of the disease.
Goat milk is medicinal in nature and is used to cure cough, TB, dengue, infertility, fevers, etc. Both of these milks are of A2 type.
Focusing on other options like powdered milk or non-dairy kinds of milk. Well, most of the milk powders are A1 milk-based and have unwanted sugars, preservatives, and emulsifiers. This is a strict no and secondly are the non-dairy kinds like almond, soy, coconut, and rice milk. Upon extensive research, it was found that they are also loaded with preservatives, and moreover, they are too costly due to extreme brand marketing. These vegan milk are more of a smoothie and do not have the same properties as regular milk.
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