Choosing the right milk
Most milk consumed in Britain is cow's milk. However, other milks are available as healthy alternatives.
Milk is an ideal drink for children, providing protein, carbohydrate, and micronutrients - especially calcium, which helps to build strong bones.
Whole or full-fat milk has 7.8g of fat per 200ml (7floz) serving and 132 calories. Calcium content (236mg in a serving) is slightly less than that in lower fat varieties.
With slightly less lactose than cow's milk, goat's milk contains more vitamins A, B6, and niacin, and calcium, potassium, copper, and selenium. Full-fat goat's milk has about the same amount of fat as cow's milk, but there are skimmed versions.
Rich in protein, fat, and minerals, sheep's milk is not widely available. It is most often found made into cheese and yogurt.
This is good for people with lactose intolerance as it does not contain any lactose or casein. A 200ml (7floz) glass contains almost 6.0g of protein, 4.8g of fat, no cholesterol, and 86 calories. Soya milk is not a good natural source of calcium or vitamin B12, so choose a fortified variety.
This is a good substitute for semi-skimmed and skimmed cow's milk for people who have allergies or who are lactose-intolerant.
Lactose- and cholesterol-free, and low in fat. Choose varieties fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
Lactose-free and low in saturated fat, almond milk is also very low in sugar.
How milk is processed
To make milk safe for human consumption and more palatable, it is processed in various ways.
- Pasteurization: By heating milk, harmful bacteria and enzymes are destroyed, without affecting taste.
- UHT: After being sterilized by this ultra-high-temperature process, milk can be stored unrefrigerated.
- Homogenization: This process breaks down the milk fat and distributes it throughout the milk.
- Microfiltration: This partially replaces pasteurization and produces milk with less microorganisms and longer shelf life, without affecting taste.
- Evaporation: Removing 60 per cent of the water content by heating leaves a concentrated milk.
- Condensation: Up to half the water content is removed, then sugar is added to preserve the milk.
Milk: nutritional values
|Evaporated milk (whole)||18.8g||580mg|
|Channel Island milk||10.2g||260mg|
|Evaporated milk (light)||8.2g||520mg|
|Whole or full-fat milk||7.8g||236mg|
|Soya milk (calcium-enriched)||4.8g||178mg|
|Low-fat chocolate milk||3.4g||240mg|
|Soya milk (unenriched)||3.4g||18mg|
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