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Milk is one of the most widely consumed and varied products in the world. It is a major ingredient in thousands of beverages and foods. Milk is packed with essential nutrients and has more nutrients than any other single food. Its versatility allows it to be consumed hot or cold, to be used to make milkshakes and smoothies, and to be added to coffees, teas and hot cocoa for added nutritional value.
Nutritional value of milk:
It is one of the most nutrient-dense foods, filled with a unique blend of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. Milk contains more than 10 essential nutrients that can promote health and prevent disease. A breakdown of the major nutrient compositions is listed below for a better understanding of the benefits of milk.
Consuming 2 to 3 servings of milk and milk products can provide many important nutrients and health benefits. Research has found that milk and milk products are important in the prevention of osteoporosis, they reduce cardiovascular disease, decrease incidence of colon cancer, decrease insulin resistance (diabetes) and help with weight management.
It is s a disease characterized by plaque build-up in the arteries of the heart. This blockage leads to decreased blood and oxygen flow to the heart muscle, resulting in hypertension, potential heart attack and stroke. Research has proven that low-fat and non-fat milk and milk products have been linked to a reduction in cardiovascular risk factors by reduction in LDL cholesterol, an improved total cholesterol profile and decreased hypertension.
Colon cancer is an abnormal growth of cells throughout the colon which affects the organ’s ability to function properly. Recently, research has concluded that consumption of milk and milk products can significantly decrease the proliferation of colonic cells, thus reducing one’s susceptibility to the disease.
Insulin is needed to metabolize sugars in the bloodstream and to help sugars pass into the cell for energy. When one is insulin-resistant,it can lead to type 2 diabetes. Current research data shows that milk and milk products can help prevent insulin resistance.
Obesity is pandemic and is becoming an increasing problem for public health. Several controlled clinical studies on overweight and obese adults following reduced calorie diets with milk and milk products showed greater weight loss than those that just followed a reduced calorie diet.
Milk-The versatile food
We know that milk and milk products provide many health benefits, but how can you include them into your own diet?It is consumed in many forms – yoghurt, yoghurt smoothies, cheese, ice cream, creams, flavored milks, in coffee and of course as plain milk. Here are some tips to add the versatile food in various forms to your diet: