HomeFOODWISE ArchivesFOODWISE TIPS ArchivesMilk and milk products: tips for healthy intake in diet

Milk and milk products: tips for healthy intake in diet

Tip 1: Adults need at least 300 ml and children at least 500ml of milk/curd per day for calcium needs of the bone, unless calcium is provided otherwise by supplements. International guidelines recommend higher level of calcium intake; and advise adults to drink 500 ml milk everyday

‘Low fat’ milk is considered healthy milk  by all dietary guidelines of the world. This is true for adults and children older than two years. In India, this means having toned, double toned or skimmed milk. Full fat milk has high load of saturated fat which lead to rise in blood cholesterol


Tip 2: If you drink full cream milk or buffalo’s milk, switch to reduced fat milk or make your own reduced fat milk at home

Full fat milk or buffalo’s milk  are high in fats overall, but more importantly in saturated fats which are bad for heart. If you drink 1.5 cups (300 ml) of milk/day and  you use buffalo’s milk instead of double toned milk, you would consume 160 more calories , nearly four times as much saturated fats and cholesterol

Cow’s milk has lesser fat than buffalo’s milk, but still has more fats, SFA and cholesterol that toned milk


Tip 3: To take the fat out of cow/buffalo milk at home, cream has to be removed thrice from whole fat milk

  • First, boil the milk and let it sit at room temperature for two hours. Remove the cream that accumulates on its surface
  • Then, refrigerate the milk for five to six hours and skim the thick cream off its surface
  • Reheat the milk once more and refrigerate overnight. The next morning scoop the layer of cream formed

Tip 4: Make your paneer and curd at home

Commercial paneer has 25% fat content, which means that 78% of its calories come from fat, in comparison, homemade paneer (made with toned milk) gives 43% calories from fat. If you do eat commercial paneer, count your cubes:  1 inch cube of paneer gives nearly 80 calories (as much as one roti). If you prefer curd over milk, make sure that it is made of toned milk or make your curd at home


Tip 5: Eating cheese is nearly as good or as bad as eating commercial paneer

For equal weight, cheese has only 30-50% more calories, fat, SFA than commercial paneer (e.g.. one inch cube of paneer vs. one inch cube of cheese) but also has higher protein, calcium, vitamin B2 and Vitamin B12. The big disadvantage of cheese over paneer is that it has nearly 350% more sodium (salt) than paneer, if you avoid salt with dishes of cheese, occasionally eating cheese is quite alright!


Tip 6: Vanaspati and margarine which contain trans fat are far worse than ghee or butter

Vanaspati or  PHVO or margarines, touted as substitutes of butter/ghee could have high amounts of trans fat (Trans FAs) which are more harmful than SFAs and dietary cholesterol for your heart health, so avoid them or make sure they are free of trans fats

Good substitutes of butter or ghee for cooking are palm oil (for mithai), olive oil/ground nut oil (for baking) or other vegetable oils (for everyday cooking as well as baking)


Tip 7: Flavored milk/curd/soya milk etc. have added sugars, so avoid their intake, as much as possible, instead go for homemade milk shakes and smoothies


Tip 8: If you want to eat ghee, keep the quantity low (1 tablespoon/day) and try to get organic ghee of ‘grass-fed’ cow: since the ghee from milk of such cows is high in omega three FAs and some other protective nutrients

CHECK OUT: Our references for recommendations on diet

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