Is your milk really milk? With so many choices of milk out in the market, it is often hard to know whether your milk is indeed the healthier choice. Learn how to choose the right milk for your family, here.
Good nutrition is key to achieving good health. And as parents, one of our top priorities should be making sure that our children get the most nutrition out of their food.
Aside from the daily servings of fruits and vegetables, it is equally important to supplement our families’ diets with foods that are packed with essential nutrients that will help them meet their daily nutritional requirements.
Your body is capable of synthesizing certain nutrients on its own, but there are others that you can only obtain through food; these are called “essential nutrients.” Milk is an excellent source of these essential nutrients, making it easier for our families to achieve optimum health. In fact, a glass of milk delivers essential nutrients such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and niacin!
Most of us know that calcium is needed for bone development and maintenance, but calcium is also needed for the health of your circulatory, muscular, and nervous systems. According to this calcium content table by the University of California San Francisco, drinking just one cup of milk provides 30% of an adult’s recommended daily calcium intake. That’s equivalent to almost 6 cups of broccoli or almost 4 cups of almonds!
Milk is also rich in high-quality proteins that contain all the essential amino acids your body needs to function. The protein in milk is 20% whey and 80% casein. While whey protein is quickly absorbed by your body, casein is digested more slowly, thus providing your body with a steady supply of protein for longer periods of time.
In addition, fortified milk is also a top source of daily Vitamin D, according to this table by the US NIH (National Institutes of Health). Vitamin D is crucial for proper calcium absorption, and can improve immunity.
The WHO Representative Office Philippines recommends that parents should encourage their children to drink a glass of milk every day to meet their need for calcium, protein, and B-vitamins.
Choosing the right milk for your family
Milk comes in many varieties, with varying degrees of fat content, and different production methods. Knowing more about the different kinds of milk is vital in choosing the right milk for your family.
As illustrated above, there are many kinds of milk in the market. But when buying milk for our family, we usually find ourselves choosing between two main contenders: full cream milk and regular powdered milk.
But what’s the better choice? As illustrated in the visual below, full cream milk is naturally fortified with important nutrients, while filled milk is usually made with ingredients that can be harmful to your health.
Filled milk also takes more effort to consume and is less tasty than whole milk; many powdered milk manufacturers try to make up for this by adding sugar. As a substitute for milk fat, some manufacturers use hydrogenated vegetable oil—artificial fats that have been linked to several health problems.