Thursday, August 7, 2008

An excellent source of calcium
A good source of vitamins A, B12, and D, riboflavin, phosphorus, zinc, and magnesium.
Low - fat dairy products are low in cholesterol and high in protein.

Whole milk and cream contain saturated fat
Some people cannot digest milk sugar
Milk protein can trigger allergic reactions in susceptible people

Milk is an excellent source of dietary calcium, a mineral needed to build healthy bones and teeth and to maintain many of the basic functions of the human body. Calcium helps to prevent osteoporosis, and recent studies indicate that it may also protect against high blood pressure and colon cancer. Milk also provides high-quality protein, vitamins, and other minerals. Two to four servings a day milk and other dairy foods are recommended. One serving is equal to 1 cup of milk, third-fourth cup of yogurt, or two slices
Milk has two major solid components: fat, including fat-soluble vitamins; and nonfat solids, which include proteins, carbohydrates, water-soluble vitamins, and minerals. Casein, a protein that is found only is milk, makes up 82 percent of the total protein.
The milk sold in North, American markets is fortified with the fat-soluble vitamin D; it is also processed to accommodate, preferences and nutritional needs (for example, to remove fat) as well as to improve its keeping qualities. Homogenized milk is pressure-treated to break up the fat globules and disperse them evenly.
Widely available milks include regular whole milk, low - fat and skim milk (with fat from 2 percent to less than 0.5 percent), and cultured buttermilk (less than 1 percent fat). Another type of milk known as UHT (ultra-high temperature) is processed at high temperatures so that it can be stored without refrigeration for long periods.
Many North American have some degree of intolerance to milk because they lack the enzyme that is needed to digest milk sugar (lactose). The alternative is lactose-reduced milk or even small amounts of regular milk. In general, lactose reduced milks taste sweeter than traditional milks. Cow’s milk can be allergenic in children and should be kept out of the diet during the first year of life. In some cases milk can cause nasal and sinus congestion, which in turn can facilitate ear infections.
Warm milk is a cold-weather treat, but children may be put off by the skin that forms on the surface when water evaporates and calcium and protein combine. If the skin is removed, valuable nutrients are lost. Instead, cover the pan to reduce evaporation.
Claims made for the superiority of raw milk should not be trusted. Disease causing organisms often find their way into unpasteurized milk because of contamination from the cow, its human handlers, or from the milking and processing equipment. In the pasteurization process, milk is heated hot enough and long enough to kill most microorganisms without compromising the taste or the nutritional content of the milk. The sale of unpasteurized milk is illegal in North America and health regulatory bodies urge pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, to avoid raw milk cheese.
When buying milk, pay attention to the date on the carton, which indicates the last day on which the milk can be sold. Look for milk dated several days in the future. Even pasteurized milk contains bacteria and will quickly spoil unless refrigerated. (putting milk in the microwave oven for 60 to 90 seconds before refrigerating extends its shelf life another 4 or 5 days). Place milk toward the back of the refrigerator, where it is colder than on the door. A temperature just above freezing is ideal; however milk should not be frozen. Milk is very sensitive to light, which rapidly breaks down the riboflavin and causes unpleasant changes in taste. Cardboard containers preserve their content better than clear plastic or glass bottles; milk stored in bottles should be kept in the dark.
Made from white milk with added sugar and coca powder, mot store-bought brands of chocolate milk contain about 1 percent fat. The amount of sugar in chocolate milk is about the same as is contained in unsweetened orange juice.
Although it has a more pungent taste than cow's milk, goat's milk is a pleasant alternative to soy-or rice-based milk substitutes. It is similar in composition to cow's milk, but its fat is much more easily digested. Goat's milk may or may not contain vitamin D, so read the label carefully. Goat's milk is no better tolerated by people with lactose intolerance or milk allergies than cow's milk.

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