Milk is considered nature’s most perfect food because it contains almost all the substances essential for human nutrition. Although milk and milk products are specially intended to nourish young people, nutritionist also recommend dairy foods to adults to balance their nutritional needs.
Sources of Dairy Milk: Cattle or Cow (number one producer of milk), water buffalo, goats, sheep, camels, reindeer, mares, and other mammals.
Factors that affect the composition of cow’s milk:
- Breed of cow has the greatest bearing
- Time between milking
- Season of the year
- Feeds or food of the cow
- Age and its overall health
Cow Milk Nutrition: Milk is considered a rich source of calcium, phosphorus, and riboflavin (vitamin B2); a good source of high quality protein, vitamins A, B1 (thiamin), and B12 (cobalamine); but a poor source of iron, copper, manganese, nicotinic acid, and vitamins C and D.
Composition of Milk: Milk is composed of milk fat, lactose (milk sugar), protein, minerals, and water. The nonfat portion of milk is called skim milk, even when not separated from whole milk. Colostrums is the first milk from the mammal after bearing young, it has a much higher constituent (except lactose or milk sugar) than the succeeding milk. Colostrums also contain the immune globulin, the carriers of antibodies to protect the young from infectious diseases.
- Milk fat. Milk fat consists of triglycerides containing at least 52 kinds of fatty acids. Approximately 67% of the fatty acids in milk fat are saturated, while 33% are unsaturated.
- Proteins. Milk protein is complete in that it contains all eight essential amino acids in the correct amounts. Milks protein has two major components; casein which is the most abundant protein in milk. It forms a thin film on the enamel surface which prevents loss of calcium and phosphate from the enamel when the teeth are exposed to acids in the mouth. Whey proteins are lactalbumin and lactoglobulin, and are similar to the blood proteins, albumin and globin.
- Lactose. The principal sugar of milk, lactose is found in milk of nearly all mammals and in no other natural foods.
- Minerals. Milk contains significant quantities of all of the minerals essential for human nutrition except copper, iron, and manganese.
Health Benefits of Milk:
- Adequate consumption of milk and dairy from early childhood and throughout life can help prevent diseases like osteoporosis, menopausal symptoms, and colon and breast cancer.
- Studies have suggested that milk also reduces the effects of carcinogenic foods on teeth when consumed together with them in the diet.
- Studies suggest that consuming 2 portions of dairy each day, along with fruit and vegetables can reduce high blood pressure in both adults and children.
- The high calcium in milk can help reduce high levels of bad cholesterol in the blood, and increase low levels of good cholesterol both of which are known risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
- Dairy food can help boost the body’s fat burning ability. Studies have shown that consumption of milk and dairy foods is associated with increased weight loss, particularly from the abdomen.
- A recent study of some middle aged women found that those with the highest intakes of dairy had a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Drinking at least one glass of full cream milk everyday will make your skin look beautiful and your eyes healthy.
- Milk can help prevent constipation.
- Drinking warm milk at night can help prevent insomnia.
Cream – is the fatty part of the milk that rises to the top of whole, unhomogenized milk if left standing. After the cream rises, it can be skimmed off.
Homogenization – is the process of breaking up the fat into smaller sizes so that it no longer separates from the milk.
Pasteurization – is the process of heating liquid for the purpose of destroying viruses and harmful organism. It is different from sterilization because pasteurization only aims to reduce the number of bacteria so they are unlikely to cause disease. Sterilization is not common in food processing because it can affect the flavor.
“This post was originally published January 20, 2012 @ 22:02”