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Jun 1, 2017

Healthy Living: Milk Still Does a Body Good

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations celebrated the first World Milk Day in 2001. It was meant to be a day to remind people across the world of the health benefits of milk and the hard work of farmers.  Milk today is still a common food source across the globe and with good reason.  In tonight’s Healthy Living, we go one-on-one with a nutritionist to find out about the health benefits of milk.

 

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

“Raise your Glass” It’s not a wedding toast; but, the theme for this year’s world milk day. While milk has long been seen as a drink that is good for the body, there are more people who begin to question its nutritional benefits. According to Licensed Nutritionist, Doris Sutherland, milk is packed with essential nutrients that we should include in our diets.

 

Doris Sutherland

Doris Sutherland, Licensed Nutritionist

“Milk contains many numerous nutrients that are very important in order for the body to achieve and ascertain the amount of growth ans development. Milk is rich in many nutrients such as calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, vitamin D and certain B vitamins. However, the consumption of milk whereas as they type and amount has been questioned by many in the past years. Specifically consumers should be aware of the composition of the milk the specific benefits and also the safety and the quality of the milk before choosing a specific milk type.”

 

When it comes to milk, there are now so many options; you’ll find various versions of dairy milk and a multitude of others. Which is the best for you to consume? Sutherland says it depends on your age and fat intake.

 

Doris Sutherland

“Whether animal milk or any other non dairy milk, it is first of all very important to know the content of fat, the amount of protein and the types of the vitamins and minerals that you will be consuming from that milk. Normally cow’s milk can be classified by the way it’s processed. It can be classified by the amount of fat it contains. Whole milk contains more fat than semi-skimmed milk. Semi-skimmed milk contains more fat than skimmed milk and skimmed milk more fat than low fat milk. It would also depend on the age. For example, children are recommended to have whole milk especially if they have a low fat intake. However, the older we get then skimmed milk can be consumed. But then we have some populations that are lactose intolerant – about 65% of the population is lactose intolerant. So that is when we have to choose a non-dairy product which would be our soy milk, or almond milk, our rice milk or even coconut milk. Looking at the different types of non-dairy milks, soy milk contains the same amount of proteins and the same amount of fiber as whole milk however; it has less fat making it better than consuming cow’s milk. The problem with soy is that it has been found to increase the risk of certain cancers specifically breast cancer because of the high estrogen levels. However, it has not been banned completely from the person’s diet. So it can be consumed when a person does not suspect any cancer risk. And in regards almond milk, it contains only one gram of protein. It does not contain any fat. The problem with almond milk is that some have more than ten grams of sugar and then would be consuming more sugar than calcium and vitamin D. Almond milk in its natural form does not have any calcium or vitamin D.”

 

One rule of thumb is to read the label. You’re almond milk should be enriched with calcium and vitamin D and have no more than ten grams of sugar. What about those who don’t like the taste of milk or are trying to cut out animal products all together?

 

Doris Sutherland

“There is a replacement. You can go for yogurt, for low fat cheese, you can go for a green vegetable that contains large amounts of calcium. Also nuts, almonds, pistachios, those foods also contain certain amount of calcium; however, the amount would be very large. Just one glass of milk a day you can cover most of your nutrient requirements whereas to have broccoli for lunch you’d probably have to have very large amounts to get those calcium levels. The switch can be made from cow’s milk to any other non dairy product as long as they try to make their protein requirements with other foods; other foods that contain protein also coming from animal foods. This might be a concern for vegans that do not consume of animal food and especially those that want to eliminate the cow’s milk completely. It’s all a matter of obtaining the adequate amount of protein and balancing it out with other meals throughout the day.”

 

Sutherland recommends monitoring the sugar content and fat content in whichever milk you decide to consume. Of course, babies six months and under should have only breast milk.

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