Drink MORE Milk for LESS Blood Pressure!

Dr. Pakhi Sharma (MBBS)
Dr. Pakhi Sharma (MBBS)

General Physician | 6+ years

Is Milk Good for High Blood Pressure
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Most of us start our days with a glass of milk or a cup of chai or coffee. Our moms and grandmoms have been telling us how milk is essential to keep our bones and teeth strong, but did you know milk is good for high blood pressure too?

Studies have shown that the essential nutrients in milk and dairy products can help lower blood pressure and prevent the risk of hypertension. Read on to learn how milk can help lower your BP, how much and what type of milk to consume, and much more!

Contents:
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    Milk: Nutritional Profile
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    How Does Milk Lower Blood Pressure?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    What Milk is Good for High Blood Pressure?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    How Much Dairy Should You Consume in a Day for Blood Pressure Management?
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    What is the Best Time to Drink Milk for Blood Pressure Control?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    What is the Best Way to Incorporate Milk Into Your Diet?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    Are There Any Risks From Over Consuming Milk?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    What are the Other Health Benefits of Milk?
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    Don’t Have Time To Read?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    FAQs
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Milk: Nutritional Profile

Most of the milk sold commercially in India is sourced from buffaloes and cows. Milk is an excellent source of protein, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, and B complex vitamins. It has moderate amounts of carbohydrates, fats, sugars (lactose), and other essential micronutrients like salts and minerals. Nowadays, most commercially sold milk is fortified with vitamin A, vitamin D and/or iodine.

The following is the nutritional profile for 100 ml of whole fat, reduced fat, low fat, and nonfat milk, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

NutrientMilk, whole fat, 3.25%Milk, reduced fat, 2%Milk, low fat, 1%Milk, non-fat, skim
Energy61 kcal50 kcal43 kcal34 kcal
Water88.1 g89.1 g89.7 g90.8 g
Protein3.27 g3.36 g3.38 g3.37 g

Total lipids (fat)

  • Saturated
  • Monounsaturated
  • Polyunsaturated
  • Trans

3.2 g

1.86 g

0.688 g

0.108 g

0.112 g

1.9 g

1.11 g

0.4 g

0.058 g

0.07 g

0.95 g

0.568 g

0.21 g

0.032 g

0.036 g

0.08 g

0.056 g

0.022 g

0.003 g

0 g

Carbohydrates4.63 g4.9 g5.18 g4.96 g
Sugars4.81 g4.89 g4.96 g5.09 g
Calcium123 mg126 mg126 mg122 mg
Magnesium11.9 mg12 mg12 mg11 mg
Phosphorus101 mg103 mg103 mg101 mg
Potassium150 mg159 mg159 mg156 mg
Sodium38 mg39 mg39 mg42 mg
Zinc0.42 mg0.43 mg0.43 mg0.42 mg
Selenium1.9 µg1.8 µg2.1 µg3.1 µg
Cholesterol12 mg8 mg5 mg2 mg

How Does Milk Lower Blood Pressure?

The proteins in milk are digested and broken down into smaller components called bioactive peptides. The bioactive peptides like Valine-Proline-Proline (VPP), Isoleucine-Proline-Proline (IPP), and others are derived by digesting milk proteins like casein, lactalbumin (whey), β-lactoglobulin, etc. These peptides are purported to have Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitory properties, which help lower your blood pressure by relaxing the walls of your blood vessels.

The salts and minerals present in milk, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus also play a part in regulating and lowering your blood pressure levels.

What Milk is Good for High Blood Pressure?

There is scientific evidence that says increasing daily consumption of both full-fat and low-fat dairy products like milk and yogurt can help prevent hypertension in people with normal blood pressure levels and also lower blood pressure levels in hypertensives. However, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends consuming low-fat dairy products in their Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet plan

Full-fat or whole milk has higher saturated fat and cholesterol content, which can lead to increased lipid levels in your blood. This may cause the clogging and narrowing of your arteries, increase your risk of developing heart disease, and worsen your hypertension. Hence, consuming milk with low fat or no fat content can help preserve your heart health while lowering your blood pressure.

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How Much Dairy Should You Consume in a Day for Blood Pressure Management?

The DASH diet plan for high blood pressure recommends consuming 2 to 3 servings of low-fat dairy products like milk, yogurt, or buttermilk every day. One serving of dairy amounts to around 240 to 245 ml. However, avoid consuming butter or too much cheese, as these products are high in saturated fats and cholesterol.

What is the Best Time to Drink Milk for Blood Pressure Control?

There is no set time to consume milk for blood pressure control. An ideal time would be at breakfast, between meals, or after a workout. It is not advisable to drink milk at night if you have stomach issues or digestive problems.

What is the Best Way to Incorporate Milk Into Your Diet?

  • Substitute your cup of coffee or tea with a glass of milk. Though certain types of tea are good for high blood pressure, adding milk to them negates their blood pressure lowering effects.
  • Have a bowl of fortified cereal or oatmeal with milk.
  • Add milk to your smoothies or protein shakes made of bananas, berries, or other fruits that are good for high BP.

Are There Any Risks From Over Consuming Milk?

Milk is an excellent source of essential macronutrients, minerals and vitamins. But overconsumption of milk could cause stomach issues like indigestion, diarrhoea, stomach ache, constipation, etc., especially if you are lactose intolerant (unable to fully digest the lactose sugar in milk).  Over consuming high-fat milk could also lead to an increased risk of clogged arteries due to the high saturated fat and cholesterol levels in milk.

What are the Other Health Benefits of Milk?

  • The calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin D in milk improve bone and teeth health.
  • The bioactive peptides in milk can also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
  • Drinking whole milk can help reduce your risk of obesity and weight gain, as it keeps you feeling full for longer.
  • Milk is a good source of protein and can help you build lean muscle.
  • The high protein content and low Glycemic Index (GI) score of milk can help keep your blood sugar levels in check if you are diabetic.

Don’t Have Time To Read?

  • Milk is packed with nutrients and is rich in protein, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, and B complex vitamins, while having moderate levels of carbohydrates, sugars, and fats.
  • The protein in milk is digested into smaller components called bioactive peptides which have ACE inhibitory activity that lowers blood pressure. The calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus content in milk can also help control blood pressure.
  • Low-fat milk may be better for high blood pressure control as it has lower saturated fat and cholesterol content.
  • Limit your daily consumption of dairy products (like milk, yogurt, buttermilk, etc.) to 2 to 3 servings of 240 ml each.
  • The best time to consume milk would be during breakfast, between meals, and after a workout.
  • You can substitute your cup of coffee or tea with milk or add milk to cereal, smoothies, protein shakes, etc., in order to increase your intake of milk.
  • Over consuming milk may cause stomach issues and increased blood lipid and cholesterol levels.
  • Drinking milk every day can help improve your bone and teeth health, reduce your risk of weight gain, and lower inflammation levels and the damage caused by free radicals in your body, while also controlling your blood sugar levels.
  • Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading cardiologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate BP monitors and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Also, check out our Hypertension Management program which provides ‎360º care. Let’s treat high blood pressure problems together.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, turmeric milk may be good for high blood pressure as the curcumin present in turmeric and the minerals present in milk can help lower your blood pressure.

Many studies have associated regular dairy consumption with reduced blood pressure levels. The essential minerals and vitamins in low-fat dairy can help you manage hypertension, and as such are an important part of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension) Diet.

Both milk and tea have blood pressure-lowering properties when consumed separately. However, adding milk to tea can negate the antioxidant properties of tea that are responsible for relaxing your arteries, leading to negative or no effect on your blood pressure levels. Adding sugar to milk tea can result in chronic inflammation, which can increase your blood pressure levels in the long run. 

Dr. Pakhi Sharma
Dr. Pakhi Sharma, MBBS
(General physician, 6+ years)
An expert in obstetrics and medical emergencies, Dr. Pakhi Sharma, an alumni of Sri Devaraj Urs University of Higher Education and Research Centre, is a general physician working at Phablecare. She has 6+ years of work experience spread across gynaecology and obstetrics, family medicine, and medical emergencies at renowned hospitals and clinics.

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