How nu­tri­tious is milk?

Consumer Voice - - Milk Shakes And Flavoured Milk - Source: Man­ual of Di­etary Guide­lines for In­di­ans, 2011, by Na­tional In­sti­tute of Nu­tri­tion, Hy­der­abad

Milk is a well ac­cepted and whole­some food and bev­er­age for all age groups. It con­tains most of the nu­tri­ents nec­es­sary for growth and de­vel­op­ment. It is, there­fore, es­pe­cially use­ful for feed­ing in­fants, tod­dlers, grow­ing chil­dren and ex­pec­tant women and nurs­ing moth­ers. All the macro and mi­cro nu­tri­ents are pre­sent in an eas­ily di­gestible and as­sim­i­l­able form in milk. Milk pro­teins pos­sess high bi­o­log­i­cal value that is al­most equal to that of meat, eggs and other high­qual­ity an­i­mal pro­teins. Milk pro­teins are valu­able sup­ple­ments to most veg­e­tar­ian di­ets. Milk is a rich source of bioavail­able cal­cium, which helps in the build­ing up of strong bones. Milk fat serves as a ve­hi­cle for im­por­tant fat-sol­u­ble vi­ta­mins A, D and E. Since milk fat is of the sat­u­rated type, those who have to be on a low-fat diet can con­sume skimmed/toned milk. For strict veg­e­tar­i­ans, milk is the only source of vi­ta­min B12. Milk is also rich in vi­ta­min B2, though is a poor source of vi­ta­min C and iron. Only pas­teurised or boiled milk should be con­sumed to en­sure pro­tec­tion from dis­ease-caus­ing agents.

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