Contrary to popular opinion; that the older we get, the lesser milk we need, milk is essential for everyone not just growing children. Women in particular require the essential bone building nutrients of milk - calcium, protein, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A and D.
Gone are the days when making a choice for milk was a lot easier. With the “thousand and one” varieties of milk available nowadays in the dairy section of a grocery store, making a selection is tough work. For fear of increasing cholesterol levels and total body weight, lactose intolerance and other possibly health conditions, the assortment of milk choices (dairy and non-dairy) in today’s market is sure welcomed.
But the BIG question is “which milk is best for you?”
Asides the many pros and cons of dairy milk, it remains the best in terms of protein source. Do you know that protein’s magic formula works in such a way to control appetite? Protein also promotes healthy muscle repair and it’s great for your hair and skin. With dairy milk, you are sure to get at least 30% of your recommended daily portion of protein, and at least 20% of your daily value of vitamin D and phosphorous. Dairy milk is widely available and can be bought as whole, low fat/skimmed, semi-skimmed (1%, 2%) etc.
Whole milk also known as full cream is called “whole” because none of its natural components were removed during pasteurization. A serving/cup of whole milk (240ml /8oz) has about 150 calories and approximately 8grams of fat (of which 5gms is saturated fat). Trying to cut down on fat and calories? Then this is quite a lot of saturated fat for you. Obviously unhealthy, right?
With less than 0.5gms of fat in some brands and 0% fat in some others, Skim milk is a healthier option if you are on a weight loss journey. The good thing is whether non-fat or low-fat (1% or 2%), skimmed milk is still loaded with same vital nutrients – protein, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, folate, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins A,D, B12 - as in full cream milk. Sometimes skimmed milk seems quite watery because some or all its cream (fat content) has been removed but some brands are better. A good example of concentrated skimmed milk is Three Crowns milk – low cholesterol, great taste and high in minerals and vitamins to support your body’s maintenance..
Depending on your health concerns, nutritional desires and personal taste preference, you can have the right milk that benefits you. For those who are lactose intolerant, the wide range of natural non-dairy alternatives – soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, tiger milk – are good healthy choices though very low in protein except soy milk. And if you are sticking to cow milk, don’t forget to check the nutritional value on your next tin of dairy milk!