Milk and dairy products are usually part of our daily diet. However, healthy and conscious nutritionists know that milk and dairy products should be consumed moderately, following the recommended dietary intake.
“It is healthy to consume 0–2 portions of dairy products per day, which is considerably less than the average Estonian daily consumes,” emphasized Eva Kumpas, nutrition advisor of the Estonian Nutrition Advisers Association.
Milk contains more than one hundred chemical compounds, above all a calcium source for milk, but more importantly, milk contains all the amino acids needed by the body. In addition, we get milk milk sugar or lactose, potassium, vitamin B 12 and unpasteurised, or raw milk, also magnesium. Dairy can also be obtained from milk, which is added to various dairy products specifically for better calcium intake.
The world’s largest consumption of cow’s milk. If the total agricultural production of milk is about 500 million tonnes per year, about 85% of that is cow’s milk. At the same time goat, sheep and buffalo milk is successfully consumed, and in some areas there are other animals’ milk.
Dairy products are very abundant in various variations in trade. Preference is given to natural non-flavored and acidified dairy products (yoghurt, sour milk, cottage cheese, butter). Various sweetened variants should be exempted and read under confectionery. This means that all kinds of puddings, ice creams, curd creams, curds, etc. should not be part of a full-fledged diet. When choosing yoghurt, be sure to add the added sugar option and taste it with, for example, berries or fruits.
Fat content of dairy products
Dairy products should not be selected with reduced fat products. Milk fat is useful, it contains all the fatty acids necessary for the body and added vitamin D in the form . On the basis of the fat content, drinking milk is classified as non-fat drinking milk (not more than 0.5% fat), low-fat milk (fat content not less than 1.5% and not more than 1.8%) and whole milk (not less than 3.5% fat). In Estonia, 2.5% fat milk is the most common. We mainly find saturated fatty acids (65-70%), as well as monounsaturated (25-30%) and slightly polyunsaturated fatty acids (5%).
However, as dairy products mostly contain saturated fatty acids, it is recommended to consume less dairy products (yoghurt, whole milk, sour milk, decoction, cottage cheese) to reduce the risk of heart disease. Fat cream, cheese, creams and, of course, ice cream, etc. should rarely be eaten.
Likewise, sour cream has beneficial lactic acid bacteria and no added sugars, but the product has a fairly high fat content (10-30%). “Here, the magic word would be modest, and it should not be forgotten that 1-2 tablespoons of sour cream (depending on the fat content) gives our whole menu a full portion of saturated fat. However, a healthy and balanced daily menu could only contain 1-2 servings of saturated animal fats. So it is worth saving sour cream and keeping in mind the balance of fats in your menu, ”emphasized Eva Kumpas.
The sources of concentrated milk proteins are cheeses, cottage cheese and curd. The cheeses are also very calcium-rich, but it is not useful to eat them daily because of their high protein, salt and fat content. The maximum daily amount could remain within 1-2 thin cheeses.
Calcium in milk
Rich in milk, milk is one of the most important minerals. Calcium deficiency can lead to a number of different diseases that do not occur immediately, but cause the body to be too long for a deficiency. In this case, a person can be tortured by depression, cramps, memory loss, etc.
“From dairy products we get the calcium we need for the body, which is important for strong bones and for healthy teeth, nails and hair. It is important to note that in order to absorb calcium in the body, we also need vitamin D, which, while living on our latitude, tends to remain scarce, ”explained Eva Kumpas with a significant nuance in the consumption of dairy products.
However, one should not forget that both calcium and vitamin D can be absorbed by magnesium . Without magnesium, there is a lack of both calcium and vitamin D in the body, despite the fact that they are enough in the menu. Vitamin K, omega-3 fatty acids, boron, silicon and zinc are also needed to absorb calcium.
According to a study by the Estonian Osteoporosis Society, a survey conducted among people aged 25-70 in Estonia has shown that the average amount of vitamin D in our blood is significantly lower than normal in our people throughout the year and that only three in every 100 people have optimal vitamin levels in winter. Vitamin D can be consumed in addition to solar energy in the form of a dietary supplement, but many good and useful foods also contribute. So, for example, you could place emphasis on sea fish (salmon, trout, herring, tuna) on your diet, fish liver oil is useful, and to some extent vitamin D can also be found in egg, mushroom and organic beef.
Liquid and acidified milk products are healthier
When the milk is allowed to stand, the fermentation process starts and the milk becomes acidic. This means that lactic acid bacteria make milk sugar into lactic acid. In this way, many dairy products are made which are also very beneficial to health.
Liquid dairy products such as milk, kefir, yoghurt or decoy are easily absorbed by the body. There is a lot of talk today about the fact that an adult person does not need joyful milk in pure form. It is true that for many it does not fit well, but it is in this case that the best option is acidified dairy products – kefir, pett and yogurt.
Acidified products are mostly made by enriching with the starter, and different rootstocks also give a characteristic texture and flavor. In Kefir, in addition to lactic acid bacteria, there are yeasts that give it a pungent taste and a slightly bubbly texture. The fatter the kefir, the less is the sharp taste.
Eva Kumpas, a nutrition consultant, also tells people that it is always preferable to prefer fermented and unflavoured dairy products. “Flavored yoghurts, curd creams, etc. often contain a lot of sugar. It is healthier to choose a natural product and add the berries, fruits or seeds and nuts to it, if desired, ”Kumpa advised.
For yoghurts, it is preferable to use biogurts made using azidophilic and bifidobacteria. Bio-yoghurts help to strengthen the gastrointestinal microflora.
For example, in non-liquid products, curd, in addition to the valuable protein, contains a large amount of minerals, while the amount of vitamins in the curd is reduced during processing. But the cheese is rich in fat and protein and is therefore not good for everyday consumption.
How big is the serving?
As already mentioned, dairy products should be consumed up to two per day (maximum three according to Estonia’s national dietary recommendations) and slightly more for people with higher energy consumption. Two portions give about 220 kcal.
One portion of the usual 2.5% milk is 200 grams or a small glass. The same goes for the 2.5% fat flavored yogurt. The portion of medium-fat cottage cheese is 130 grams and 35 grams of cheese.
You can find more specific indicative quantities for dairy products with different fat content and flavored dairy products here .
The nutritional value of animal milk differs several times
Estonians are used to consume mainly cow’s milk and products made from it. Goat milk products have also gradually entered the glory. In fact, different nationalities in the world consume milk from a wide variety of animals, which may differ in terms of nutritional value. For example, reindeer milk has four times as many kilocalories as cow’s milk, and almost twice as much calcium can be found in sheep’s milk as our daily cow’s milk.
The nutritional value of various milk per 100 grams can be found in the table below:
What about vegetarians?
We know that milk is one of the most important sources of protein and calcium, including many vitamins and amino acids, but there are many people who do not consume milk and milk products for various reasons.
In addition to mammalian milk, vegetable milk products such as coconut milk, almond milk, various cereal milk and the like are increasingly used in the preparation of food. A balanced diet can actually cover a healthy diet without consuming animal dairy products.
“It should not be forgotten that calcium is also present in legumes, almond nuts, seeds, various vegetables and fruits – so a conscious vegan or a person who for some reason does not consume dairy products is afraid of calcium deficiency,” Eva Kumpas, nutrition consultant, also explained.
Milk can also hide health risks
Lactose, or milk sugar, can cause intolerance in many people, which means that the body is not able to produce enough lactase, the enzyme needed to break down milk sugar. It is interesting, however, that if only a glass of milk can cause symptoms in a lactose intolerant person, for example, with milk, milk can tolerate the lactose better and the absorption is slower. Similarly, the milk is fatier because fat slows the stomach emptying.
Lactose intolerance may be inherent or due to temporary damage to the small intestine. In the first case, the disease is not treatable, but in the second case the symptoms should disappear within 2-4 weeks.
Before dairy products are completely removed from your menu, you should make sure that your illness is caused by lactose intolerance. For example, people suffering from the disease often tolerate useful sour milk products, in which part of the lactose is fermented into lactic acid, especially those containing probiotic bacteria are useful, since some bacteria secrete lactase (a milk-cleaving enzyme).
Lactic acid bacteria oxidize lactose to lactic acid and the resulting sour milk does not contain lactose. Hence, acidified dairy products are tolerated for hypolactase. The Estonian Celiac Disease Society has also made an overview of which foods can be consumed by lactose intolerance.
Recommended foods: fermented or fermented milk products (sour milk, kefir, yoghurt, cheese);
Foods that should be consumed moderately : foods that contain moderate milk sugar (melted cheese, cheese, sour cream, curd, butter, butter, mayonnaise);
Foods that should be abandoned or consumed very little : milk, cocoa with milk, ice cream, cake, milk shake, milk chocolate, pancake flour mixed with milk powder.
If a person does not tolerate milk or sour milk products absolutely, nuts and seeds, beans, algae, oranges, broccoli or broccoli and soy products are good alternatives to calcium.
Milk protein intolerance
In addition to lactose intolerance, people often also have cows’ milk protein or casein intolerance. “There has been much talk about lactose intolerance (due to the lack of enzyme lactase in our body), but much less talk about milk protein or casein intolerance,” explained Eva Kumpas.
“The immune system sees casein as an enemy to fight against, and so does an allergic reaction in our body. This, in turn, can lead to chronic autoimmune diseases. Often, casein intolerance goes hand in hand with gluten intolerance and, in case of intolerance, it is important to exclude both from their menu. ”
Milk protein intolerance often occurs in infants and has many forms of expression. The skin may be dry, itchy and scaly, or red and rough spots (such as dandruff) occur. Symptoms may also include chronic respiratory problems such as colds and coughs or watery eyes.
In case of casein intolerance, frequent consumption of dairy products exhausts the body as a whole and also affects the immune system. This means that different diseases can result. In addition, abnormal cleavage of casein protein may result in opioid peptides or casomorphins associated with behavioral and mental disorders and the nervous system in general.
It is interesting to know that casein is by nature a sticky substance that is also used in the manufacture of adhesives and paints. Anyone can imagine what sticky mass we get in the intestines when we consume dairy products (in addition to exaggerating gluten).
There is no need to turn off dairy products directly from your menu, as dairy products contain useful substances, calcium, iodine, B vitamins and minerals. However, the quantities you consume must certainly be reviewed as the health range is up to two to three servings.
The absorption of vitally important calcium in the body from the point of view of bone health is becoming increasingly difficult after 60 years of human life. Milk is one possible source of calcium, but at the same time it is important to remember that exaggerating dairy products can inhibit calcium absorption.
When choosing dairy products, it is preferable to use acidified and / or natural products without added sugar and the like. Because milk is difficult to digest, yoghurt and so-called pre-soaked forms are somewhat milder for the body.