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What happens to the body when you give up milk for a month?

Milk holds a significant place in the diets of many people, especially in Indian culture, where it plays a prominent role in various dishes. Its versatility makes it a crucial component in numerous culinary creations. However, it’s important to exercise caution, as excessive milk consumption can result in several health problems.

As such, should you completely eliminate milk from your diet? And, what can happen to your body if you give it up for a month, to begin with? We reached out to experts to know more.

According to Dr Sandeep Bhatnagar, director, internal medicine, Paras Health, Udaipur, when you give up milk for a month, your body may experience changes. “Initially, you might have reduced bloating and gas as some people are lactose intolerant. Calcium intake might decrease, impacting bone health. Skin conditions related to dairy sensitivity could improve,” he said.

He added that nutrient intake might need adjustment as milk is a source of protein and vitamins. “Overall, individual responses vary, and consulting a healthcare professional is advised before making significant dietary changes,” Dr Bhatnagar said.

Agreeing, Nupuur Patil, a nutritionist, said that if you were regularly consuming milk, you might notice a decrease in your calcium and vitamin D intake as these nutrients are commonly found in milk. “Calcium is essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth, and vitamin D aids in calcium absorption.”

milk You can opt for plant-based milk (Source: Getty Images)

But, is it suggested to completely give up milk? Whether or not it’s suggested to completely give up milk for a month depends on your individual health needs, dietary preferences, and any existing health conditions, experts said.

“If you’re lactose intolerant, avoiding milk can reduce digestive discomfort. Those exploring dairy-free diets for ethical, environmental, or health reasons might consider alternatives. However, if milk is a significant protein and calcium source, ensure balanced nutrition through substitutes or supplements. Consulting a dietitian before major dietary changes is recommended,” Dr Bhatnagar said.

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If you decide to give up milk or reduce your dairy consumption, there are several healthier alternatives available. Patil suggested a few:

– Plant-Based Milk: Opt for plant-based milk alternatives like almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, coconut milk, or rice milk. These alternatives are often fortified with vitamins and minerals, such as calcium and vitamin D.

– Leafy Greens: Incorporate calcium-rich foods like leafy greens (kale, spinach, collard greens), broccoli, and fortified foods (such as cereals) into your diet.

– Nuts and Seeds: Snack on nuts and seeds like almonds, chia seeds, and sesame seeds, which are good sources of calcium.

– Fish: Fatty fish like salmon and sardines are not only rich in omega-3 fatty acids but also provide a good amount of vitamin D.

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– Fortified Foods: Look for foods that are fortified with calcium and vitamin D, such as fortified orange juice, fortified plant-based milk, and fortified cereals.

“Remember, the key is to ensure that you’re still meeting your nutritional needs, especially calcium and vitamin D, regardless of whether you choose to give up milk. Consulting a healthcare professional or dietitian can help you create a balanced and suitable dietary plan,” the nutritionist concluded.

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