Food With Milk is a platform that shares the love of cooking and good food with you. We share tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your ingredients, create balanced meals and allow you to be inspired by recipes from around the globe. Our mission is to inspire, empower and inform our followers about food that is healthy, simple and most importantly delicious.
Food With Milk
These foods often contain cow’s milk protein. Check their labels before buying. If you’re eating out, ask if milk was used to make them.
- Au gratin dishes and white sauces
- Baked goods — bread, cookies, crackers, cakes
- Battered and fried foods
- Cake mix
- Chewing gum
- Chocolate and cream candy
- Coffee creamers
- Creamed or scalloped foods
- Granola bars
- Indian food, in which ghee (a form of butter) is very common
- Malted milk
- Mashed potatoes
- Meats — canned and processed, including cold cuts and deli meats
- Nougat, found in some candy
- Salad dressings
Ingredients With Milk
If you see these listed on a label, the food has milk proteins in it:
- Artificial butter or cheese flavor
- Casein or caseinates
- Lactalbumin, lactalbumin phosphate
- Lactose, lactoglobulin, lactoferrin, lactulose
- Protein powders
- Whey or whey products
These lists may not be complete. Look up any ingredient that you are not familiar with.
Tips for Living Well With a Milk Allergy
- Find other ways to get vitamins and minerals. Dairy products are an important source of calcium, protein, and vitamins D and B12. If you or your child has a milk allergy, foods such as broccoli, spinach, and soy products can help fill the void. A registered dietitian can help you develop a well-balanced eating plan.
- Try dairy substitutes. Drink soy, rice, oat, and almond milks that are fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Look for non-dairy ice cream, chocolate, cheese, and yogurt. Use margarines made with vegetable oil instead of butter. A tablespoon of vinegar in a cup of rice milk or soy milk works as a buttermilk substitute.
- Be careful with kosher products. Some may contain milk protein, even those labeled “pareve,” which are considered milk-free under kosher guidelines.
- Stay away from foods without labels, like from salad bars, deli counters, and bakeries. They’re more likely to accidentally have your allergy triggers in them.
- Always read labels, even on things that you buy every week. Food companies change ingredients all the time. Just because something has been safe for you in the past doesn’t mean it always will be.
- Ask your pediatrician about safe formula. If you have a baby with a milk allergy, the doctor may suggest an extensively hydrolyzed, casein-based formula.
- Avoid milk outside the kitchen. Check labels on cosmetics, creams, and ointments to see if they contain cow’s milk in any form. Some medicines also contain whey, which is made from milk.
Health benefits and risks of consuming milk
- Types of milk and milk products
- Health benefits
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Milk is a good source of many essential nutrients, including calcium, protein, and vitamin D. Many people see it as a vital part of a balanced diet. Others, however, cite various reasons for choosing not to consume it.
Sources of milk and milk products include cows, sheep, camels, goats, and many others. Milk alternatives include soy milk, almond milk, flax milk, coconut milk, and hemp milk.
This article will focus on the benefits and risks of drinking cow’s milk.
Types of milk and milk products
Milk’s healthfulness depends on the individual and the type of milk they consume.
Pasteurized milk that is high in protein, low in fat, and free from unnecessary additives can be healthful for many people.
On the other hand, some flavored milks contain as much sugar as a can of soda. These are not a healthful choice.
Present day cow’s milk is not a single product. It can be fresh or long life, fat free, lactose free, fortified with added omega-3s, hormone free, organic, or raw, among other options.
The nutritional breakdown of milk depends on the fat content and whether or not the manufacturer has enriched it. Nowadays, many manufacturers in the United States fortify their milk products with extra vitamins.
One 244 gram (g) cup of whole milk with 3.5% to 3.8% fat containsTrusted Source:
- 149 calories
- 7.9 g of fat
- 7.7 g of protein
- 12.3 g of sugars
- 276 milligrams (mg) of calcium
- 205 mg of phosphorus
- 322 mg of potassium
- 3.2 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D
Meanwhile, one 244 g cup of nonfat or skim milk containsTrusted Source about:
- 83 calories
- 0.2 g of fat
- 8.2 g of protein
- 12.4 g of sugars
- 298 g of calcium
- 246 mg of phosphorus
- 381 mg of potassium
- 2.9 mcg of vitamin D
Both types of milk also provide choline, magnesium, vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, folate, and many other nutrients.
Calcium has many functions in the body, including:
- developing and maintaining healthy bones and teeth
- helping with blood clotting and wound healing
- maintaining normal blood pressure
- controlling muscle contractions, including the heartbeat
Choline is an important nutrientTrusted Source that helps with muscle movement, mood, and memory.
Low levels of choline can lead to:
- muscle damage
- liver damage
- nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
The body can make most of the choline it needs, but some must come from dietary sources, such as milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese.
Potassium can help reduce the risk of:
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
- loss of muscle mass
- loss of bone mineral density
- kidney stones
The American Heart AssociationTrusted Source (AHA) recommend consuming 4,700 mg of potassium per day. Combining this with a low sodium intake can help prevent high blood pressure.
Vitamin D is important for the formation, growth, and repair of bones. It also plays a key role in calcium absorption and immune function. In the U.S., most manufacturers fortify milk with vitamin D.
Low vitamin D levels may increase the risk of osteoporosis (brittle bones), osteomalacia, and rickets.
The best source of vitamin D is sun exposure. Very little vitamin D occurs naturally in foods. However, some manufacturers fortify certain foods, such as milk products, with vitamin D.
Milk’s nutrients can benefit the body in various ways. The sections below discuss the specific health benefits of milk in more detail.
Milk can be good for the bones because it provides vitamin D and calcium. In fact, it may help prevent osteoporosis.
Some researchersTrusted Source have found that older adults who consume more dairy products have a higher amount of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant, in the brain.
Those who consumed three daily servings of milk and milk products had antioxidant levels that were approximately 30% higher than those of adults who had less than half a serving per day.
Blood pressure and heart health
A higher potassium intake and a lower sodium intake are important for reducing the riskTrusted Source of cardiovascular disease, according to the AHA.
In 2014, scientists published their findingsTrusted Source after looking at the data of more than 90,000 postmenopausal women. Around 25% of the women who consumed the most potassium had a 21% lower risk of any type of stroke and a 27% lower risk of ischemic stroke.
However, the saturated fat in full fat dairy products can increase the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease. For this reason, people at risk of stroke or cardiovascular disease should opt for skim or low fat milk.
Adequate vitamin D levels support the production of serotonin, a hormone associated with mood, appetite, and sleep.
The findingsTrusted Source of a 2019 meta-analysis indicate that vitamin D supplementation may help people with major depression to manage their symptoms. However, the researchers called for more studies to confirm these findings.
Muscle building and weight loss
Providing about 8 g per cup, milk is a good source of protein, which is necessary for repairing body tissues and preserving or increasing lean muscle mass.
A diet that includes an adequate amount of protein can enhanceTrusted Source wound healing, and it may lead to an increase in muscle mass. It may also promote weight loss, but further studies are needed to confirm this.
People who wish to lose weight should opt for skim or low fat milk, and they should be mindful of their total daily calorie intake if consuming full fat milk.
Some people choose not to consume dairy products such as milk. These people may:
- choose to follow a specific diet, such as vegan or paleo
- hope to reduce acne or other conditions
- have an allergy or sensitivity to lactose (the milk sugar) or casein (the milk protein)
- have concerns about methods of dairy farming and their impact on the environment
- have concerns about the possibility that milk contains hormones, such as estrogen
Some argue that humans are the only species who continue to drink milk after being weaned, implying that milk consumption is unnatural and unnecessary.
Hormones in milk
Some people worry that the hormones in dairy milk, including estrogen and growth hormones, can adversely affect them.
In a 2016 studyTrusted Source, researchers found that mice who consumed high concentrations of estrogen in milk underwent hormonal changes. However, they note that the levels of estrogen were far higher than those that usually occur in cow’s milk.
Scientists have not yet found evidence to suggest that the hormones in dairy milk can affect humans negatively.
Some evidenceTrusted Source suggests that a high intake of milk may increase the risk of ovarian cancer. The reasons for this remain unclear, however.
People who do not wish to consume milk can choose from a range of dairy alternatives. Find out more here.
Allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities
Many people consume milk without experiencing any adverse effects. However, others may have an adverse reaction.
A milk allergy
A milk allergy is different from lactose intolerance. If a person with a milk allergy drinks milk, they will have an abnormal immunologic reaction, in which the body’s immune system produces allergic antibodies such as immunoglobulin E.
For these people, drinking milk can lead to:
- blood in the stool
A severe allergic reaction can trigger sudden anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal. If a person starts to experience swelling or difficulty breathing after coming into contact with or consuming milk, they need urgent medical attention.
Those with a milk allergy should avoid milk and dairy products, including butter, whey, yogurt, and cheese.
In this article, learn how to recognize anaphylaxis and what to do if it happens.
Some people do not produce enough of an enzyme called lactase, and this can make it hard for them to digest milk. Lactase breaks down lactose, which is a sugar in milk. Sometimes, this can be a temporary problem — for example, due to an infection.
For those with lactose intolerance, consuming milk can cause bloating, flatulence, or diarrhea.
However, levels of lactose intolerance vary from person to person. Some may be able to tolerate products with low levels of lactose, such as yogurt and hard cheeses, while others may be unable to tolerate even a drop of milk in their coffee.
Lactose free milk has added enzymes to help with lactose digestion. This may ease or eliminate these symptoms.
Casein is a protein in milk. For people with a casein sensitivity, consuming milk can trigger inflammationTrusted Source in the digestive system and throughout the body.
Anyone who suspects that dairy products could be causing symptoms can talk to a dietitian. Trying an elimination diet or undergoing food sensitivity testing may help determine whether or not a dairy free diet is appropriate.
Low fat dairy products that do not contain added sugar can be a healthful addition to any diet, as long as the person does not have an allergy or intolerance.
Milk provides protein and a range of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, which is vital for bone health. However, other foods can also provide these nutrients.
Experts recommend that people at risk of cardiovascular disease and those who seek to control their weight avoid consuming full fat milk.
Flavored milks can contain high levels of sugar or artificial sweeteners, binders, coloring, and other ingredients. These are not usually a healthful option.
Anyone who wishes to drink milk but is not sure if it is a good idea can speak to their doctor or a dietitian.
Milk, yogurt and cheese
Dairy foods are a great source of calcium, protein and vitamins. Calcium is needed to build and maintain strong bones and teeth.
What is included in the dairy food group?
Milk, yoghurt, cheese, quark, fromage frais and cream cheese are the dairy foods that are included. Butter, cream and luxury yoghurts are high in fat and are foods to eat less often and in small amounts. Non-dairy alternatives include plant-based drinks, such as soya milk, yoghurts and cheeses.
How much should I eat?
Different age groups need different amounts of these foods.
What is a portion?
- One glass (200ml) milk/fortified plant-based alternative
- One pot (125g) yoghurt
- One bottle (200ml) yoghurt drink
- Two thumbs (25g) hard or soft cheese
- Choose lower fat options, these provide the same amount of calcium but are lower in fat and calories
- For products like cheese and yogurt, check the label and go for ones lower in fat and sugars
- Choose milk and yoghurt more often than cheese. Cheese is a good source of calcium and protein but can be high in fat and salt
- If you’re using cheese to flavour a dish or a sauce, use smaller amounts of ‘mature’ or stronger flavoured cheeses like blue cheese
- Luxury yoghurts are generally high in fat, treat them as a dessert
- Plain lower fat yoghurts are a great choice for dessert with fruit
- Use low-fat milk in milk-based desserts and savoury sauces
- Plant-based dairy alternatives are naturally lower in calcium so check the label and choose those with added calcium.