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You Are What You Drink: Why Be Selective About The Milk You Consume

You Are What You Drink: Why Be Selective About The Milk You Consume

Milk and cereal. Milk and Oreos. And of course — what else are you supposed to drink with your peanut butter and jelly sandwich?

There’s nothing wrong with milk, and if you like it, there’s no reason you need to stop drinking it if it doesn’t bother your stomach. You should, however, be mindful when choosing which kind of milk to buy.

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The same way you might glance at the nutrition facts on your favorite brand of cereal before you decide to buy, you should pay attention to what’s printed on the front and back of a milk carton before sliding it into your grocery cart. Why check the facts? We’re glad you asked.

You need to make sure you’re not consuming needless added sugar

Traditional milk, as you know, comes from cows, and goes through some processing before it’s ready for you to drink. One 8 oz. serving of nonfat milk still comes with 12 grams of sugar, which at first glance might throw you off. That seems like a lot of sugar, doesn’t it? It’s important to keep in mind that this sugar in particular is just part of the deal. It’s completely natural, which means our bodies are able to break it down and use it to benefit our health rather than hinder it. It’s good for us.

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This isn’t the case with all milk on grocery store shelves, though. Other kinds of milk, like almond milk, contain added sugars, which our bodies don’t break down and utilize quite as readily. You should consume milk with naturally occurring, rather than added, sugars: check the ingredients list and beware of added sugars’ aliases (usually ending in –ose).

You don’t want to drink your calories if you don’t have to

Have you ever been advised not to drink your calories? You probably think of soda or energy drinks when this piece of dietary wisdom crosses your mind, but milk falls under the same figurative warning as other drinks. You could be consuming more calories by drinking milk than you realize. That 8 oz. glass of milk you can’t get through breakfast without alone contains 80 calories, but let’s be honest: more than likely, you prefer 2% with your cereal, which brings your calorie count up to 120, not counting the rest of your meal.

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If you don’t want to remove milk from your diet completely—and we’re not saying you have to—stick with skim milk, which will give you fewer calories per glass. You’ll get plenty of calcium and other nutrients in that glass, so you probably don’t need much more than that in one sitting.

You can get plenty of protein from solid food instead of milk

Your go-to argument in favor of milk might be its protein content: 8 grams is a decent amount of protein in one serving of a drink, which is one reason milk is more beneficial than harmful.

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If you’re doing it for the protein, though, you should know that there are plenty of foods you can eat that contain just as much protein per serving as, if not more protein per serving than, milk. You should always aim to consume the majority of your nutrients from solid foods, so while there’s nothing wrong with drinking milk, it shouldn’t be your main source of protein throughout your day.

Conclusion

It’s important to pay attention to what you’re putting into your body, both what you’re eating and what you’re drinking. If you want milk to remain part of your balanced diet, choose milk types and brands that are easiest for your body to digest and provide the fewest number of calories per serving. Balance your milk consumption with other protein-rich foods, like lean meat, nuts and eggs. Choose your milk wisely, and enjoy.

Featured photo credit: Mike Mozart via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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