What type of milk should you be having?
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What Type of Milk should You be Having?

Milk is that one staple food which we start having in infancy and never really give up. Whether in the form of lattes, milk tea or a full glass of plain milk, life will just not be as enjoyable without milk. Read about soy milk.

There are various types of milk available in the market and we often find ourselves wondering which one would be the best for us? With a plethora of options available in the market we often think back after buying what if that other one was better? We ponder over which pack will fulfil the health needs of our family to the maximum.

The common types of milk available in the market are full cream, single toned, double toned and skimmed milk. The questions like which one is healthier, single toned milk or double toned milk? Does skimmed milk contain any nutrients? How much fat does full cream milk contain? Does the milk that I am buying, meeting my family’s health requirements? Pop up in your head every time the vendor asks you which one you would like to buy.

Worry not! This article will attempt to answer most of your queries regarding different types of milk and their health benefits. So first let’s widely look at the nutrients which milk contains:

1.Fat: Fat is essential for many functions in the body including but not limited to storage and provision of energy, production of hormones, protection, warmth and provision of fat soluble vitamins amongst many others. Read about good fat vs. Bad fat.

2.Carbohydrates: They provide the body with energy required for most functions. The form of carbohydrate present in milk is called as lactose and is the least damaging sugar with regards to tooth decay and other health dangers.

3.Protein: Play an active role in building immunity by helping in creation of antibodies, they also help in conducting all major bodily processes which culminate in building and repair of all tissues present in the body. It helps strengthen muscles and bones. Read how much protein do you need?

4.Vitamin A: Strengthens eye muscles and vision. Also helps in tooth and bone development. It keeps deficiency diseases like night blindness at bay. Also helps maintain healthy skin.

5.Vitamin B12: Helps in the normal functioning of brain and nervous system, thus prevents memory loss. Also helps in formation of red blood cells. It helps in maintaining a healthy heart, curing sleeping disorders, diabetes and mental disorders.

6.Vitamin B6: Contributes in the formation of red blood cells, helps in the metabolism of carbohydrates, helps in the healthy functioning of the brain and nervous system, and helps in liver detoxification process of the body.

7.Riboflavin (B2): Helps in iron absorption thereby keeping anaemia at bay. It helps in recycling body’s own antioxidants which eliminate free radicals from the body.

8.Niacin (B3): maintains heart health, lowers bad cholesterol in the body, it also helps keep the nervous system, digestive system, skin, hair and eyes healthy.

9.Thiamine (B1): Helps in maintain digestive health.

10.Vitamin K: It helps in clotting of blood..

11.Pantothenic acid (B5): Strengthens bones and joints, helps in maintaining heart health. Also helps in smooth brain functions by helping in the production of neurotransmitters.

12.Folate: Prevents anaemia, helps in development of a healthy foetus, especially useful for pregnant women.

13.Vitamin D: Improves absorption of calcium by the body. It regulates minerals like calcium and phosphorous in the body, it helps in preventing autoimmune diseases. Also helps in maintaining a healthy and normal blood pressure and heart health. Read about it’s benefit in losing weight.

14.Calcium: Helps in the formation and maintenance of strong bones and healthy teeth. Read more about benefits of calcium.

15.Magnesium: It aids in bone and teeth health, conversion of food into energy and tissue formation.

16.Phosphorus: Factor in the strengthening of bones and keeps teeth healthy. It improves kidney health as well.

17.Potassium: Aids in maintenance of proper blood pressure and ensures a healthy heart.

18.Zinc: Helps in building immunity in the body, growth and repair of cells, wound healing, metabolism of carbohydrates.

19.Selenium: It helps in normal functioning of the thyroid gland, also factors in the correct functioning of the immune system, due to its antioxidant effect.

20.Choline: It is an important nutrient which helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.

Now that you are aware of all the nutrients and minerals that milk has to offer, all there is left to point out is the difference in these nutrients in the different types of milks.

  1. Whole standardised milk: In this milk the fat has been contained to a minimum of 3.5%.
  2. Whole homogenised milk: In this the fat globules are made to breakdown and are made to spread throughout the milk to prevent formation of the creamy layer at the top.

The low level of fat in skimmed milk reduces its calorie content which reduces the energy it provides to the person having it. For exactly this reason it is not appropriate for children under the age of 5 years to have skimmed milk as they need the extra energy for growth and development.   It is ideal for adults who wish to limit their fat or calorie intake.

Skimmed milk has a slightly more watery appearance than other types of milk and has a less creamy taste due to the removal of fat.

The calorie and nutrition breakdown of the different types of milk* is given below:

 Type of Milk Energy Fat Carbohydrate Protein Calcium
Full Cream 89 6.2 5 3.3 134
Toned Milk 59 3.1 4.7 3.1 127
Double Toned Milk 47 1.5 5 3.3 134
Skimmed Milk 33 0.1 4.9 3.2 134

*The reference milk taken here is Mother Dairy.

Now to further aid your understanding lets list down the fat soluble and the water soluble vitamins and nutrients.

Water Soluble Nutrients Fat Soluble Nutrients
Vitamin B Vitamin A
Vitamin C Vitamin E
Calcium Vitamin D
Phosphate Vitamin K
Iodine
Magnesium
Zinc
Potassium

Although when the fat is being removed all the fat soluble vitamins also get removed but in most cases these vitamins are re-added to the milk to ensure they do not lose out on their nutrients. Vitamin D is another such vitamin which is added to milk separately, a process called fortification.

Health benefits of milk:

  1. Milk has rich calcium content that helps in maintaining bone density.
  2. Milk is important for nerve function, muscle contraction, and blood clotting.
  3. Milk contains sufficient amount of potassium needed for muscle activity and contractions. It helps in regulating the body’s fluid balance and blood pressure. Read about natural ways to reduce blood pressure.
  4. Sodium present in milk helps stimulating the adrenal glands and aids in preventing heat prostration or sunstroke.
  5. Milk contains vitamin A, important for regulating cell growth and integrity of the immune system and helps maintaining normal vision and skin.
  6. Milk helps in brain development and growth of body tissues. It helps to maintain healthy bones and ensure that you’re not losing bone density.
  7. It also helps prevent the risk of colorectal cancer.
  8. It helps in fighting depression.
  9. It helps in development and maintenance of healthy teeth.
  10. It helps in fighting obesity.
  11. It reduces the risk of getting diabetes.
  12. Provides a boost of energy.
  13. Keeps the body well hydrated.

So, we hope now you well aware of all the health benefits that milk has to offer and also the difference between the different types of milk. All we can suggest to you now is that surely include milk in your daily diet to live a healthy and prosperous life.

Found that interesting? You might also find these helpful.

Is this childhood habit leading to obesity?, Calorie count for weight loss, 7 foods that melt away flab, Role of beans and lentils in your diet.

- Articles, data, text, image or video content posted on this site is checked by the Fitho team of nutritionists & fitness experts, or by research/studies, and opinions are based on our wide experience in helping thousands of people get fit, lose weight & manage their health.
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