How Dairy Ingredients Offer a Healthy Start To The Year
As we welcome in the New Year, many make resolutions to improve their lives and bring about positive change. Often this is based around a healthier lifestyle and eating better. So here we take a closer look at how dairy products and ingredients can help with achieving these goals.
Dairy milk is one of the most adaptable products around and has been used by humans for nutrition and sustenance for thousands of years. Delivered fresh each day to our UK manufacturing sites (where we process milk from more than 550 million litres of milk a year!), we are able to turn pure and natural cow’s milk into a full range of bulk dairy ingredients including butter, butter oils and soft cheese as well as other cultured products such as yoghurt, soured cream and crème fraiche, plus a range of milks and creams to varying levels of fat.
Dairy products, or dairy ingredients within other food products, are widely recognised as containing many essential nutrients and types of fat that are critically important for maintaining healthy bones and heart. Calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus are important for bone building, and the high potassium content of dairy foods can help lower blood pressure too.
The UK Eatwell Guide recommends that milk and dairy ingredients form part of a healthy balanced diet and dietitians suggest that they typically provide almost one third of a consumers recommended calcium intake.
The positive news is that the nutrition provided by dairy ingredients goes well beyond calcium alone. In a single glass of semi-skimmed milk there is protein, phosphorus, potassium, iodine, riboflavin and pantothenic acid and nearly three quarters (72%) of our daily vitamin B12 requirement. For vegetarians, dairy is often the main source of B12.
Dairy products are beneficial for people throughout their lives. At a young age, milk and dairy provides useful energy, protein, vitamins and minerals to support growth and development. Milk also provides essential nutrients for the healthy development of teeth, helping protect against dental caries. Many products that contain high levels of dairy ingredients are marketed to young consumers who would benefit from such products.
During teenage years, dairy products play an important role with 40-60% of peak bone mineral content being laid down in adolescence and 80-90% of the skeleton being formed by the age of 18 years. The British Association of Dietitians say that a good diet in teenage years can increase bone mineral density, providing healthy bones later in adult life and preventing conditions like osteoporosis.
The importance of dairy products and ingredients is also illustrated in adulthood, where in the UK on average 19% of an adult’s calcium intake comes from dairy. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, dairy products help to provide enough calcium to meet the nutritional needs of both the mother and developing baby.
Equally, there are several studies showing that milk slows the rate of bone loss in post-menopausal women, reducing the risk of developing osteoporosis or other bone diseases.
fuelling the body
Finally, consumers who are planning a fitness drive in the New Year as well as eating healthier should be aware that dairy could help achieve their goals. If consumed before exercise, milk and dairy products provide good levels of carbohydrate for energy, while after exercise, they provide the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins and electrolytes to assist muscle recovery and rehydration.
The mineral concentration of milk is in fact so strong that the Association of UK Dietitians suggest that it is as just as effective as sports drinks or water for rehydration, and also offers additional nutrients that may help the body retain fluid. Eating and drinking dairy (or whey protein) is also associated with increases in lean muscle gain and fat loss for those watching their weight.
We wish all our customers the best of luck with all their New Year objectives and hope that by having a little more dairy in their ingredients – they, and their consumers, can achieve their goals.