Milk is a well accepted and wholesome food and beverage for all age groups. It contains most of the nutrients necessary for growth and development. It is, therefore very useful for feeding infants, toddlers, growing children and expectant women and nursing mothers to consume milk. All the macronutrients and micronutrients are present in an easily digestible and assimilable form in milk.
Milk nutrients and it’s benefits:
- Milk is a rich source of calcium which plays an important role in building stronger, denser bones early in life and keeping bones strong and healthy later in life. Calcium deficiency can lead to rickets and poor blood clotting and osteoporosis.
- Saturated fats are mainly animal-based fats like milk fat, ghee and butter. The American Heart Association recommends aiming for a dietary pattern that achieves 5 per cent to 6 per cent of calories from saturated fat. Intake of a lot of saturated fat increases the level of bad cholesterol in the blood and it is generally acknowledged that high levels of LDL can place one at risk of heart disease. Milk fat serves as a vehicle for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E. Since milk fat is of the saturated type, those who have to be on a low-fat diet can consume skimmed/toned milk.As per Dietary Guidelines for Indians by National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, 2011, diets of young children and adolescents should contain about 30 grams to 50 grams fat per day. So, a higher amount of milk fat is better for consumers.
- Vitamin A is essential for good health – notably for eyes and skin, immune function, reproduction and bone growth. Milk is a rich source of vitamin A. And is expected to have a higher amount of it.
- Milk proteins possess high biological value, which is almost equal to that of meat, eggs and other highquality animal proteins. Milk proteins are valuable supplements to most vegetarian diets.
- Cholesterol plays a central role in many biochemical processes but is best known for the association of cardiovascular disease. There are two main types of cholesterol – low-density lipoproteins or LDL (bad cholesterol), which can result in fatty deposits in our arteries, and high-density lipoproteins or HDL (good cholesterol), which absorbs cholesterol and carries it back to the liver, which flushes it from the body. Milk and milk products have been linked with reduced blood pressure.
For strict vegetarians, milk is the only source of vitamin Bl2. Milk is also rich in vitamin B2, but is a poor source of vitamin C and iron. Only pasteurised or boiled milk should be consumed to ensure protection from disease-causing agents.
Please read the table below, to give you an ideal per day recommended Dietary Allowance ( RDA) for Indians. This is as per the manual of Dietary Guidelines for Indians, 2011, prepared by National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad. RDA means the amount of certain nutrients that most people need each day.