I remember nearly 30 years ago, when my children were small, I first became interested in eating more naturally because of an article I read.
This was all about changing to 2% milk from full cream, to light brown sugar instead of white refined sugar, and to brown or whole wheat bread instead of white bread. And I very quickly managed to persuade my family to change too - except for an occasion treat of white bread!
Since then of course so many different things have been added to the list of healthy eating while those "new ideas" of 30 years ago have also changed.
Time to research the topic of milk
As I grew older, I found I no longer enjoyed a daily glass of milk with my breakfast and I changed from drinking tea with milk to black tea with lemon. But because I now needed the calcium more than ever, I had to make it up with cheese, yogurt, using milk in cooking, making milk shakes or smoothies and lots of leafy green vegetables.
- Cow’s milk, the basis for all other dairy products, remains a healthy food for the following reasons:Promoting strong bones by being a very good source of vitamin D and calcium and a good source of vitamin K – three nutrients essential to bone health.
- In addition, cow’s milk is a very good source of iodine, a mineral essential for thyroid function, and riboflavin and vitamin B12 - 2 B vitamins that are necessary for cardiovascular health and energy production.
- Cow’s milk is also a good source of vitamin A, a critical nutrient for immune function and potassium, a nutrient important for cardiovascular health.
- Milk produced by grass fed cows also contains a beneficial fatty acid called conjugated linoleic acid. Research suggests that among the benefits could be the lowering of cholesterol and the prevention of atherosclerosis.
- More important than ever is the need to change to organic milk or milk produced from grass fed cows and best of all is the old fashioned raw milk (unpasturized) if you can access it. We should also be wary of milk that comes from cows who have been given added growth hormones and antibiotics. Shop around and read the labels.
- Another change is that we should actually be using full cream milk, butter and cream instead of low fat. This is because less fat in dairy products means more carbohydrates including sugar. Those wanting to lose weight will find it easier to do so if they consume full cream milk products rather than low fat.
Breast milk of course is the perfect food for babies
It should be their main food source for as long as possible.
Once they are weaned, full cream milk is appropriate for toddlers over the age of 12 months. As we grow older, we need less milk but we need to change from the long held theory that we should be drinking non fat milk or low fat milk.
Humans are the exception in the natural world for consuming milk beyond infancy
The largest producer and consumer of cow’s milk in the world is India. Cow’s milk is also the milk of choice in many parts of the world particularly the west. However, milk is also collected for domestic use from sheep, goats, yaks, water buffalo, horses and camels. The term “milk” is also used to describe the whitish non-animal substitutes such as soy milk, rice, milk, almond milk and coconut milk.
These can be especially useful if you suffer from lactose intolerance and cannot drink cow’s milk. Around 75% of the world’s population is actually lactose intolerant while intolerance to milk proteins is also possible though less common with up to 5% of children developing true milk allergies.
Cow’s milk is processed into dairy products such as cream, butter yogurt, kefir, ice cream and of course cheese while industrial science has brought us casein, whey protein, lactose, condensed milk, powdered milk and more.
The very best and healthiest milk is produced from those grass fed cows who live natural healthy lives.