Milk and Milk SubstitutesJuly 19, 2010
Milk is still as good as ever for your kids and you. According to the USDA, milk products are today a major source of shortfall nutrients for Americans, and those shortfall nutrients include magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin D. In the U.S., only 36% of individuals 1 year and over have insufficient intakes of calcium, and he numbers can be even worse for potassium and magnesium.
While many people skimp on milk and milk products, there is evidence that indicates that drinking milk and eating a bit of cheese actually can help people keep weight down. While it’s wise not to overdo it, balanced nutrition is a much better long-term way to lose weight than cutting back on dairy essentials.
The USDA said that milk is an especially effective source of milk for females of all ages, as well as older men.
Non-dairy alternatives, while not being perfect substitutes, often compared well. For those who need to limit dairy consumption, it might be a good idea to keep these in mind. While rice milk came up a bit short, calcium-fortified soy milk offered many nutrients, and almost as much potassium as milk itself.
While many sources suggest low fat milk, this is a decision you should make for yourself. Especially for kids, unless they have a weight problem, the benefits of whole fat milk are enormous. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, found that women who experienced infertility due to absence of ovulation consumed more than two servings of low fat dairy products every day. Women who did this were 85% more likely to suffer infertility, when compared with women who ate low fat dairy less than once a week.
The advantage of whole fats is that they allow to enjoy the food as it should taste, and your body feels rewarded. Low fats sometimes leave the body dissatisfied and wanting more, leading to overindulging. So consider using whole fat dairy – just consume less of it and enjoy it more.
Beyond potassium, milk brings so many benefits that it simply cannot be left safely out of the average diet. So try some milk, and some soy milk as a supplement, and see how you feel after a few weeks.