More brands of packaged milk available on the market are outdoing each other in their claims of being the best. In line with this, many people are uncertain of which milk most suits their needs.
The following are tips on choosing high quality packaged milk suitable for your needs:
The high temperature involved in the process of making powdered milk reduces nutrients such as vitamins C and E. From a nutritional perspective, fresh milk is therefore superior to powdered milk. That is not to say that the overall nutritional value of powdered milk is not almost the same as fresh milk as the former contains proteins that are subjected to thermal denaturation that are likely to be advantageous to gastrointestinal digestion and absorption.
Powdered milk has a much longer shelf life than fresh milk. Unlike fresh milk, powdered milk does not need refrigeration. When buying fresh milk, is best to choose milk packaged in cartons because it is usually processed through pasteurization and flash heating.
Such a process gives fresh milk a longer shelf life and it can be instantly drunk without the need to boil it prior to consumption. However, it should be refrigerated once opened.
Is milk with lower fat content always better?
This is not always true. A variety of vitamins are dissolved in the milk’s fats. When the fats are removed, the vitamins are subsequently reduced. Many people worry about getting fat and switch to low-fat milk. This, unfortunately, does not give maximum benefits to health in terms of milk consumption.
Is milk with higher calcium content better?
Many high quality milk products are fortified with calcium, making it 500 mg per serving. But that does not necessarily mean that you have to drink milk twice a day, as the 1,000 mg requirement includes calcium obtained from food and other daily products such as vitamins.
Choose the one that best suits your needs.
Some milk products often focus on specific nutrients as their selling point, such as high amounts of calcium, iron, zinc or DHA-enriched milk for children. Other elements like selenium and unsaturated fatty acids are often added to the products, especially powdered milk. You should know what you need or at least consult with a doctor, especially if you or your children have any particular disease. It is not wise to consume products high in iron, zinc or chromium if you have diabetes or experience a loss of appetite.
By Aulia Rachmat Sungkar. Published in The Jakarta Post on June 1, 2010. Photos: cnn.com