Classic comfort: Milk

Milk is not only an all-time classic drink, it’s an essential and very important part of American lives; according to a recent survey conducted by Wakefield Research, 82 percent of parents across the U.S. said they would make a separate trip to the store if they ran out of milk (not only is it packed with nine essential nutrients like protein, calcium, along with vitamins A, D and B12, among others; it’s also an extremely versatile ingredient that has many uses beyond just cereal. And all dairy milk-whether regular, fat-free, low fat or organic has these nine essentials).

Milk is one of the best protein bargains around; for about 25 cents per glass, there’s eight protein-packed grams in every eight-ounce glass.

Non-Dairy Alternatives

They’re very popular and trendy right now, but bear in mind that not all non-dairy milks have the same nutrients as the real deal; for example, dairy milk has eight times the protein of almond (lower in calories than dairy; has a mild sweet, nutty taste) and rice milks (has little fat and is good for those with food allergies; has a mild, but watery taste. Some almond and rice varieties can contain added sugar, salt and thickeners). Other non-dairy options include: Cashew milk-It's very heart-healthy and is high in vitamin E, but may be hard to find. The taste is slightly sweet and mild.
Coconut milk-High amount of vitamin B-12; can be used in many recipes, but high in saturated fat. There's a creamy, tropical taste to this.

Soy milk-High in omega-3 fatty acids and the most comparable to dairy milk, nutrition-wise, but not as low in fat. There's a creamy, sweet taste.

Did You Know That.....

97 percent of dairy farms are still family-owned and operated.

Here's a super easy recipe for:

Cookies and Cream Smoothie

Ingredients

2 cups DairyPure 1% Low Fat Milk (or a similar brand)

1 cup ice

4 chocolate sandwich cookies

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

In a blender, combine milk, ice, chocolate sandwich cookies and cocoa until blended.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Makes 2 servings

For more recipes and info, check out www.DairyPure.com and www.MilkLife.com.

Lactose Intolerance: A Few Tips and Ideas for Successful Coping

It's estimated that as many as 30 to 50 million Americans are thought to have lactose intolerance (the inability to digest milk sugar, resulting in bloating, stomach cramps and gas). Scientists believe this may be a natural evolutionary process, for this inability increases with age; we drink far less milk as adults, and milk's nutrients are as crucial past a certain growing point.

But it's not necessary to eliminate dairy from your diet (lactose tolerance-and intolerance-can vary for each individual). First and foremost, talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian about a management plan that best for you. Here are some other ideas:

  • Try yogurt in a couple of spoonfuls (the bacteria will actually help your body to break down the lactose).
  • Natural cheeses like cheddar, colby, Monterey Jack, Swiss and mozzarella are low in lactose; you can slice these to use with crackers or in sandwiches.
  • Sipping a small amount of milk (particularly chocolate milk; it worked for me) and gradually working your way up to a tolerable amount will help.
  • There are many varieties of lactose-free dairy foods that are now available.
  • Try eating dairy food that's been stirred in with other solid meals (your body will have more time to digest the lactose). For example, mix milk into soup, have a small amount with cereal (personally, this also works well for me) or blend it with fruit.

For more info, go to www.DairyMakesSense.com.

Sources: "Family-Friendly Meals Featuring MILK" and "5 reasons to love milk"-Family Features-The Vindicator, May 27, 2015, "Learn to live with lactose intolerance"-Family Features-The Vindicator, February 25, 2015 and "Mooove Over, Dairy" by Karen Asp-Spry LIving, July 2015

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