Bone Up On The Facts
What’s the difference between lactose intolerance and milk allergies?
Lactose intolerance a digestive problem that involves a lactase deficiency (lack of the enzyme necessary to digest the natural sugar in milk).
Milk allergies occur when the body’s immune system reacts to the protein found in milk. They usually occur in infants and disappear by the age of 3. Possible symptoms of a milk allergy include hives, skin rash, eczema, diarrhea or constipation, nasal congestion, coughing, wheezing and vomiting.
If you suspect that you or your child has a milk allergy, please consult your family doctor for a proper diagnosis. After all, it’s possible that it’s not a milk allergy and you may be cutting out the wrong food in your diet. Once your diagnosis confirmed, we suggest that you contact a registered dietician for proper nutritional counselling.
Calcium and your bones.
Our bodies need a lot of calcium. In addition to building strong bones and teeth, calcium is also vital for muscle contraction and relaxation, normal blood clotting, nerve function and blood pressure regulation. Since our bodies can’t produce calcium, we have to get it from the food we eat. But if we don’t get enough, our bodies withdraw it from our bones. When this happens, our bones become thinner and more fragile. The good news? We can replenish the calcium in our bones by drinking 3-4 servings of milk each day.
Of course, there are plenty of other foods that do supply calcium—they just do so in smaller amounts. For example, in order to get the same amount of calcium as in one cup of milk, you would have to eat:
¾ can of sardines with bones
2 cups of baked beans
4.5 cups of cooked broccoli
30 medium bananas
Osteoporosis is a bone weakening disease that develops gradually and makes bones fragile and brittle. It affects both genders and is known as the ‘silent disease’ because bone loss occurs without symptoms. Any bone can be affected, but it mainly affects the spine, ribs, hip and wrist. A simple hug can fracture the bone of someone affected with osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease that develops when we are young but doesn’t show up until we are older.
Teenage years are prime bone-building years, as we can’t make large calcium deposits beyond our early 20’s. Teens should build up their bone mass now to last them their entire lives.
Remember, our bodies do not produce calcium; therefore it is important to get enough milk and exercise as we grow to prevent bones from becoming weak, brittle and easy to fracture as we get older.
Prevention of Osteoporosis:
Exercise and good eating habits can help reduce the risk of this disease. Exercise helps the body store calcium in the bones, so that the calcium you get from your diet is used more efficiently. Weight-bearing activities also help strengthen bones.
What else can I do to be sure that I continue to have strong, healthy bones?
Limit your coffee and caffeine intake to no more than four drinks per day, and get plenty of exercise. Walking, running, jumping and lifting weights are all great ways to keep your bones strong.
What’s so great about milk?
Milk is great for strong healthy bones. But it’s great for bodies and minds too. It gives children energy to stay active and do their best at school.