Does it really Matter?
Milk and dairy products contain many nutrients and provide a quick and easy way of supplying these nutrients to the diet within relatively few calories.
Milk, cheese and yoghurt all provide the following beneficial nutrients in varying quantities.
Calcium - for healthy bones and teeth
Phosphorous - for energy release
Magnesium - for muscle function
Protein - for growth and repair
Vitamin B12 - for production of healthy cells
Vitamin A - for good eyesight and immune function
Zinc - for immune function
Riboflavin - for healthy skin
Folate - for production of healthy cells
Vitamin C - for formation of healthy connective tissues.
Iodine - for regulation of the body's rate of metabolism (how quickly the body burns energy and the rate of growth
It does vary with age (see chart details)
But basically aged between 19-50
30G Cheese (small matchbox size)
Dairy products provide calcium, which is essential for bone growth and development. Bone growth is at its highest during childhood and the teenage years and therefore it is important that teenagers consume dairy products and is just as important later on in years where the menopause can lead to a weakening of the bones,
Optimising bone mass can help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis (a debilitating, brittle bone disorder) in later life
Dairy products contain calcium and other tooth friendly nutrients, which help teeth grow and keep them healthy
It is the only drink -excluding water which is recommended by dentists to be safe to consume between meals.
Contrary to popular belief, research has shown that people who consume milk and dairy foods are likely to be slimmer than those who do not.
Milk is also not a high fat product. Studies have also found that consuming milk and dairy diet can help us to lose weight -especially from the abdomen, where fat deposits are associated with the greatest health risks
Dairy helps reduce blood pressure. A diet containing fruit and vegetables, dairy products and low salt helps reduce blood pressure The potassium, magnesium and calcium found in dairy products are all linked to healthy blood pressure.
Studies have discovered that diets containing milk and dairy products may significantly reduce the risk of certain cancers.
A study in 40,000 Norwegian women discovered that those who drank milk as children and continued to do so throughout adulthood had a significantly lower chance of developing breast cancer
Consumption of milk and dairy has also been associated with a reduced risk of suffering a heart attack
Type 2 diabetes
Consumption of low fat dairy products has been linked to a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
In fact studies have found that each extra portion of dairy consumed each day is associated with increasingly lower risk!
Regular fluid intake throughout the day is essential to be well hydrated. Experts recommend drinking 2 litres fluid per day. As milk contains a high percentage of water, it is a useful for hydration.
People who consume dairy products have better intake of nutrients than people who do not consume dairy products. Introducing dairy products at an early age helps establish good eating habits for later in life.
What type of Milk should I drink?
All milk in the UK goes through these processes,
Separation: after being held in storage tanks at the processing site, raw milk is heated to separation temperature. The milk (now hot) is sent to a centrifugal separator where the cream is removed. The skim is then usually blended back together with the cream at set ratios so that the end product has the desired fat content. Surplus hot cream is cooled and processed separately to be stored in bulk and sent to a cream packing plant.
Pasteurisation: this process involves killing most of the bacteria within the raw milk to increase its shelf life. This is done by rapidly heating the incoming milk to the pasteurisation temperature (72°C) in a holding tube, ensuring that the pasteurisation temperature is held for 25 seconds to destroy the bacteria. The hot milk is then cooled to increase its shelf life. Finally, chilled water is used to control the milk exit temperature from the pasteuriser at approximately 2°C.
Whole standardised milk is whole milk standardised to a minimum fat content of 3.5%.
Semi skimmed milk is the most popular type of milk in the UK with a fat content of 1.7%
Skimmed milk has a fat content of between 0-0.5% and an average fat content of 0.1%
Organic milk comes from cows that have been grazed on pasture that has no chemical fertilisers, pesticides or agrochemicals used on it.
The producers must register with an approved organic body and are subject to regular inspection.
Once the cows have been milked, the milk is treated in exactly the same way as regular pasteurised milk.
So Whole, Semi or Skimmed Milk?
There is little evidence that low-fat milk is a healthier dietary choice. In fact, an increasing body of evidence seems to indicate that whole fat milk could be a better choice.
Cup for cup, whole fat milk contains fewer carbohydrates than skimmed because more of its volume is made up of fat, which does not contain lactose. It also has slightly less protein.
Research has shown that because fat is more satiating, or filling, eating some higher fat foods can lead to lower calorie intake overall. Cow’s milk, including whole milk, also does not cause a significant insulin response, which is what leads to weight gain, also turns out that saturated fats in dairy can protect against certain diseases and are not associated with heart disease, as previously thought. In any case, the entire dairy/saturated fat hypothesis has been completely debunked,
SO WHOLE MILK IS BETTER
But either way, no one should be drinking enough milk for the type of that milk to make much of a difference on his or her health overall.
Most alternative milks are now fortified with calcium and vitamin D so they have many of the benefits of normal milk.
Soya milk has a creamy flavour that it offers and its low fat content. According to Cancer Research UK, some studies have found that the high levels of soy products eaten by Asian people could help to reduce the risk of some cancers, but the smaller amounts eaten by Western population are unlikely to have any major benefits. Commercial soya milk is available in both sweetened and unsweetened varieties, so always opt for the sugar-free carton where you can, so to avoid the extra calories.
Commercial rice milk is typically made up of about 14% rice, with the rest being a little oil, salt and water. I find rice milk can be too watery to add to tea or coffee for some, it is nice straight up as it is naturally sweet and low in fat at just 1%.
Milk made from hemp seeds, the brilliant thing about it, is that a 250ml serving provides 50% of our recommended daily intake for omega-3. Omega 3 is important to maintain a healthy heart and reduce the risk of heart disease when eaten as part of a healthy diet, but there is evidence to suggest that such vegetarian sources of omega 3 may not have these same health benefits as those in oily fish. As ever, this supports the idea that a healthy balanced diet eating from all the food groups in the right quantities is the best diet to follow to ensure that you’re not missing out on any nutrients.
Almond milk is really tasty, with a subtle nuttiness and a light texture. Even though different types of milk are widely commercially available now in supermarkets and health food shops, they are often still quite expensive. Almond milk in particular is often over £2 a litre,