Milk is an ESSENTIAL FOOD, next to vegetables, fruits, grains, meat and eggs, being the basic product in a healthy diet.
Daily consumption of milk and milk products is the indicative of a balanced diet. Studies showed that people who do not usually drink milk have excess weight problems or other health problems due to their monotonous or hyper caloric diets. Since we are born, we need milk or milk products every day of our lives, because milk is a FUNCTIONAL FOOD. This means that, next to its nutrition purpose, milk contributes to maintaining and improving health.
Milk is one of the rare foods, if not the only one that includes all basic nutrients, in optimal proportions and high bioavailability, thus being effectively used by the body. In addition to balanced percentages of protein (3 to 3.5%), carbohydrates (4-5%) and fat (3.5 to 4.5%), milk contains all the minerals absolutely essential for life. If it had fibber too, we would call it the IDEAL FOOD because we could survive just by consuming milk and milk products. But nobody is perfect...
Milk is a complete food and it is recommended for the daily diet of all age groups. Milk and its derivatives contain high biological value proteins, B group vitamins (vitamin B12, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, folic acid), vitamins A and D and all minerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iodine, iron, chrome).
- double the daily dose of vitamin B12
- the daily dose of vitamin B2
- 50% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance of vitamin A
- 33% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance of vitamins B1 and B6
- large amounts of vitamin D and folic acid
- 16% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance of magnesium
- 20% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance of chrome
- important amount of iodine
Calcium in milk is the standard reference for solubility, absorption and availability in the human body. Milk calcium is absorbed at a rate of 40% while calcium in vegetables (soy, spinach, broccoli) has an absorption rate of only 4-5%..
Not consuming dairy products makes it impossible to provide the daily calcium needs as other foods contain much less calcium.
Raw or packaged milk?
Milk is a living food. In addition to lactobacilli, milk is naturally rich in microorganisms, which are "responsible" for the diversity of tastes and consistency of products that can be obtained from milk.
Some of these bacteria are noble, probiotics, but there is also a pathogenic flora, including from the cow’s udders and from the vessels used for milk processing, which can lead to illness. Precisely to neutralize these microorganisms, milk is consumed boiled.
If we have a safe and controlled source, we can consume raw milk, but in most cases the safest option is packaged milk. Next to the dairy industry strict control of animals that give the milk, further pasteurization, adjustment of the fat content and the appropriate package allow us to obtain a product with the highest nutrition properties for consumers. It also has the advantage of not requiring boiling.
Remember that milk is the preferred medium of many bacteria, so keeping it, even briefly, in improper hygiene and temperature conditions is likely to present a health risk.
There are 2 types of fresh milk on the market: pasteurized milk, which is found in store refrigerators, and UHT milk cartons sitting on the shelf at room temperature.
The UHT process causes lower losses in vitamin C, vitamin B9 and B12 than traditional boiling.
What is pasteurized milk?
Milk that was heated to 63-65°C for 30 seconds or to 75°C for 15-20 seconds, then cooled suddenly. This process neutralizes only highly pathogenic bacterial colonies that can quickly alter the product. After pasteurization, milk must be stored in the refrigerator and its shelf life is several weeks, provided the cold chain is not interrupted during this time.
What is UHT milk?
Milk that has been heated to high temperature (140°C) for 2-5 seconds, then cooled. Effective sterilization is thus obtained by destroying all pathogenic microorganisms. The resulting product can be stored at room temperature as heat sterilization is similar to the one our grandmothers used for winter preserves or jams. In other words, UHT milk can sit on the shelf just like our grandmothers jars in the pantry, not because it has preservatives, but because it is boiled. Its shelf life may be several months, but once you opened the carton, it must be kept refrigerated and consumed within 2-3 days.
The advantage of pasteurization and UHT treatment is that, unlike conventional boiling on the stove for 15 minutes at 100°C, these methods allow the protection of milk nutrients. Short heating time allows pasteurized and UHT milk to contain large amounts of vitamins, while the cardboard packaging prevents oxidation of vitamin B12, which is very sensitive to light.
Soluble vitamins (A, D and E) and water-soluble vitamins (vitamin B2, B3, biotin) are very stable during pasteurization and UHT treatment, while vitamin B1, B6, B12, folic acid and vitamin C are sensitive to heat and oxidation.
What is powdered milk?
Given that milk naturally contains 87% water, powdered milk is dehydrated milk. Dry matter remaining after removal of all water is a concentrate of all nutrients in milk: proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins.
Powder milk can be used either as a thickening agent in yogurt and cheese, or as a supplement of nutrients in different foods. Added to scrambled eggs, creams, sauces, soups or even milk products, powdered milk increases the protein, mineral and vitamin content of these foods, which is a major advantage for children, pregnant women and the elderly.
In addition, fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E in milk vary by season, being dependent on animal feed. Milk collected in summer contains 2 times more beta-carotene (provitamin A) and vitamin E, and if converted into powdered milk, it can be used in winter to balance nutrient-poor dairies in the cold season.
In conclusion, powdered milk is a 100% natural milk concentrate and any mother knows that it only takes one cup of water for the “powder" to become milk again.
Mostly, consumption should be done according to personal preference, but there are two issues to be considered:
High temperature and alkaline pH dissolve the calcium in milk and increase its absorption. Therefore, people with hypocalcaemia should drink warm milk with a pinch of salt.
Lactose (milk sugar) is broken down into two constituent molecules (glucose and galactose) by heating. Given that glucose has a higher sweetening power than lactose (75 to 17), warm milk will taste sweeter than when consumed cold.
Should medication be taken with milk?
The milk-medication association can cause gastric irritation and reflux because milk increases stomach acidity and causes faster dissolution of many pills gastro-protective film.
In addition, calcium in milk and dairy products can form insoluble compounds with certain substances in the structure of drugs, which blocks their absorption. All derivatives of penicillin and tetracycline should be taken without milk to prevent neutralization of their active substances.
Do not eat cheese "like milk"
Do not mistake milk (sweet or sour) for cheese, as they are two different categories of food. Cheese concentrates all milk nutrients, including fat and calories, so eat cheese in moderation! Milk and its derivatives are staple foods, they can be consumed daily and only have health benefits.
Cheese comes in a wide variety of tastes and textures, but portions should be small and enjoyed with all the senses, like a strong essence. Otherwise, if you eat too much cheese, you may lose your silhouette.
Did you know that…
one yogurt ate before going to a party helps you not get drunk too fast? The presence of yogurt in the stomach prevents direct contact with and rapid absorption of alcohol in the blood. Coffee with milk or carbohydrate intake (bread, crackers, nuts, chips) may have the same "protective” action.
|milk, sour milk/ yoghurt||fresh cheese||white cheese||yellow cheese|
|protein (g%)||3 - 3,5||7 - 15||18 - 21||22 - 30|
|fat (g%)||2 - 4||7 - 8||17 - 25||25 - 30|
|calories||30 - 65||115||260||380|
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