Healthy living

Milk can take on many tasty shapes and forms. Maybe you like it as a snack on the go, or as part of your breakfast ritual, to liven up your coffee break or add to your post workout routine. And before the day ends, you may add it as a twist to an evening meal.

Whether you drink it, spread it, whip it or slice it to perfection, dairy can fulfil your everyday hunger. A varied and balanced diet and healthy lifestyle are important and dairy helps support this at every stage of life, because it’s packed with nutrients and goodness.

Milk is a nutrient rich product that is the source of several vitamins and minerals (calcium, potassium, phosphorus, B1, B2and B12) and protein.

That’s why milk and other dairy products are recommended as part of a healthy diet, because they help you grow, learn, play and perform, whatever your stage in life.

Read more on dairy throughout life

WHY DO HUMANS DRINK COWS’ MILK?

Ancient data shows that humans milked cows as far back as 10,500 years ago. Analysis of archaeological pottery shows that dairy has been extensively consumed in parts of Europe as far back as 8,500 years ago. In areas of the world where dairy products have been part of the diet for thousands of years, the majority of consumers have a variation in their genes which makes them lactose tolerant throughout their life. Researchers believe that the relatively fast evolution of lifelong tolerance to lactose means that it has been an evolutionary advantage to have milk and dairy products as part of the diet.

WHOLE MILK CONTAINS LESS THAN 5% FAT. REALLY?

Milk and dairy products are recommended as part of a varied and healthy diet by health authorities across the globe. It is a common misconception that homogenised whole milk is high in fat. In fact, whole milk contains less than 5% fat. Comparatively, semi-skimmed milk has 1.7% fat content, while skimmed milk is 0-0.5% fat.

DOES MILK FAT HAVE A PART TO PLAY IN A HEALTHY DIET?

There is room for milk fat in a varied and healthy diet. Yes, butter and some cheeses have a relatively high content of saturated fatty acids, and a maximum 10 % of the calories we eat should come from saturated fat. But that does not mean that milk fat should be excluded from the diet. We should balance our intake of milk fat with fats like rapeseed, sunflower and olive oils and foods like nuts and avocados.

The fat in dairy products primarily contributes taste, but for cooking and baking it also brings structure, because it is hard at room temperature. Compared to margarine, milk fat is naturally hard while margarines contain oils that are chemically altered to contribute firmness.

IS MILK BAD FOR YOUR SKIN?

There is no convincing evidence to show that milk and/or dairy foods cause acne. Acne is a condition which usually presents during puberty and is believed to be induced by hormones. As the body reaches puberty, testosterone is produced. This may increase the amount of oil in the skin. If there is too much oil, skin pores can become blocked and become infected with bacteria.

CAN DRINKING MILK CAUSE MUCUS OR ECZEMA?

Drinking milk can make mucus feel thicker when you have asthma or a cold, but it does not lead to increased mucus production. Parents of children with asthma are often reluctant to add milk to their children’s diet, but all the current available scientific evidence does not back up the belief.

Eczema is an inflammatory response of the skin and is thought to be caused by a number of factors. It can be triggered by substances which cause an allergic reaction and it has been related to asthma. It is essential, if you believe that food is causing this, to be tested for food allergies.

It is not recommended that you cut out food groups unless it is essential, as you miss out on important nutrients.