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Milk: benefits, nutrients and importance of eating

Milk: benefits, nutrients and importance of eating

Milk is one of the best sources of calcium available . Therefore, this food is essential for the health of bones and teeth and its consumption will prevent osteoporosis. In addition, drinking can contribute to weight loss, provide well-being and still prevent type 2 diabetes. Food is an ally of those who practice exercise and is especially necessary in childhood and adolescence, but important until old age.

The different types of milk

Milk pasteurized: Undergoing a heat treatment called high temperature short time (HTST) which involves subjecting the milk to a temperature of 72 ° C to 75 ° C for 15 a 20 seconds.

Can be found in whole versions, containing at least 3% fat in 100 grams of milk, semi-skimmed, with 0.6 to 2.9% fat in 100 grams, and skimmed, which can

It is not recommended to boil the pasteurized milk, because the boiling at 100º C causes the milk to lose several nutrients.

UHT milk or long life: This milk goes through a heat treatment occurring at 130 to 150 ° C for 2 to 4 seconds. As well as pasteurized can be found in the integral, semi-skimmed and skimmed versions.

Milk powder: This is the milk subjected to concentration and drying treatments involving temperatures of approximately 72 ° C. This product is obtained by dehydration of whole, skimmed or partially skimmed whole milk.

This type of milk may be whole milk, fat content of 26% or more, partly skimmed, fat content between 1,5% and

Fortified milk: Although the heat treatment is followed by rapid cooling to maintain its basic characteristics, the milk loses some nutrients, mainly some vitamins of the B complex. The same is true for milk powder.

So there are versions of milk on the market supplemented with vitamins and minerals. When it comes to a diet designed for a particular age group, such as children, milk, even in powder, can be supplemented with various minerals and vitamins. For diets that require low fat levels or for bone strengthening, the food can be supplemented with vitamin D and calcium.

Whole milk: In this type of milk there is no chemical process to remove the natural fat from the beverage. It is the most recommended type for children because their fat is important for the formation of the child's nervous system and for growth. This milk has more vitamins A, B and K.

Semi-skimmed milk: This type of milk has fat reduction when compared to the integral. However, it still has more lipids than the non-fat version. As it has the same amounts of calcium and protein as the full version, it may be a good choice for those who want to lose weight.

Skimmed milk: Fat reduction in skim milk is much higher than semi - skimmed.

Main nutrients of milk

NutrientsWhole milk - 200 mlSemi-skimmed milk - 200mlSkimmed milk - 200 ml
CaloriesCaloriesCalories128 kcal
100 kcal84 kcalProteins6.56 g
6.6 g6.74 g3.96 g1.94 g
Carbohydrate9.3 ggg
gCalcium238 mg240 mg
250 mg26 mg22 mg
22 mgPotassium302 mg280 mg
300 mgPhosphorus186 mg190 mg
Sodium98 mg94 mg88 mg
Vitamin C3 mg0.4 mg0
Vitamin A66 mcg56 mg28 mcg
Saturated fats4.5 g2.5 g2.5 g
1.26 gMonounsaturated fats2.1 g1.1 g
0.5 gPolyunsaturated fats0.27 g
0.7 gCholesterol28 mg16 mg

10 mg

Source: United States Department of Agriculture table

Check the Percent Daily Value * of some nutrients than the recommended serving, 200 ml (one cup) of milk carries:


- Whole milk - 13%

- Semi-skimmed milk - 13%

- Skimmed milk - 13%

- Total fat - 9%

- Total fat -

- Semi-skimmed milk - 24%

- Skimmed milk - 25%

Semi-skimmed milk - 7%

- Skimmed milk - 4%

Saturated fat

- Whole milk - 20%

- Semi-skimmed milk - 9%

- Skimmed milk - 6%


- Whole-milk - 11%

- Semi-skimmed milk - 11%

- Skimmed milk - 5%


- Semi-skimmed milk - 26%

- Skimmed milk - 27%


- Integral milk - 10%

- Semi-skimmed milk - 8%

- Skimmed milk - 8%

* Daily reference values ​​for adults based on a 2,000 kcal diet or 8,400 kj. Your daily values ​​may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs.

Milk and its derivatives are a major source of dietary calcium. This is because this mineral is more bioavailable, that is, it is better absorbed than the calcium present in plant sources. Calcium is essential for the health of bones and teeth and thus prevents osteoporosis. In addition, studies suggest that calcium may prevent fat aggregation and stimulate its burning.

Protein, also present in good amounts in milk and milk products, will aid in the growth of children, in the formation and maintenance of organs and healing. The food also has vitamin A that is essential for the growth and development of bones. In addition, it is important for the health of the eyes, skin and hair. The nutrient still has an antioxidant effect that helps protect the body from the action of free radicals that contribute to the premature aging of the cells.

Vitamin D is also present in the beverage. Among the many benefits of this nutrient is its key role in bone health. This is because it helps increase the absorption of calcium by the intestine, helps to fix this mineral and iron in the bones and teeth and also helps prevent the loss of bone mass.

Milk still has the B vitamins , which despite being in the food in smaller amounts, are associated with the good functioning of the nervous system. The drink has potassium that is important for the health of the body as a whole, as it is involved in several functions. It acts on muscle contraction, plays a key role in the proper functioning of the nervous system and helps protect the body from hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

The food has an amino acid called tryptophan that helps in the sensation of calm and well-being, relaxes the muscles, induces sleep and increases the amount of serotonin in the brain.

Proven benefits of milk

Good for bones and teeth:

Milk and its derivatives are very important for the formation of bones and teeth in the childhood and adolescence and for the maintenance of both during adulthood. This is mainly because the drink is rich in calcium, an essential nutrient for the health of bones and teeth. In addition, the food has vitamin A, necessary for the growth and development of bones. Vitamin D is also present in milk and helps increase the absorption of calcium through the intestine, helps to fix this mineral and iron in bones and teeth and also helps prevent the loss of bone mass.

Prevents osteoporosis: Osteoporosis occurs when the body fails to form enough new bone material, or when much material from the old bones is reabsorbed by the body - in some cases, both can occur. If the bones are not renewing as they should, they become increasingly weak and thin, subject to fractures.Milk helps prevent this disease by containing good amounts of calcium and also by having vitamin D. This is because the production and maintenance of bone and bone tissues can be affected when there is not enough calcium to produce the skeleton and supply all the demand for the mineral of the rest of the body. Vitamin D is important because it helps the body to absorb calcium. Thus, insufficient calcium intake or malabsorption of this mineral may be one of the causes of osteoporosis.

Helps to lose weight: A study done at the University of California, United States, and published in the Journal of The American College of Nutrition noted that people who consume more milk have a lower risk of developing obesity.

Milk helps weight loss - Photo: Getty Images

Researchers suggest that the high calcium present in milk helps in the loss of Weight. This is because, according to the authors, in the absence of calcium, there is a greater tendency for cells to reduce the burning of their fat stores. Another mechanism of calcium action is based on the fact that this nutrient has the potential to bind the fat molecule and thereby prevent its absorption by the cells. It is important to note that people who seek weight loss should opt for semi-skimmed or skimmed versions.

Provides well-being:

Milk counts on tryptophan. It is an amino acid that provides the feeling of calm and well-being. The substance relaxes muscles and induces sleep, so drinking a glass of milk before bedtime is a great idea.

Prevents Type 2 Diabetes:

Studies show that reducing calcium and vitamin D in the blood increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Therefore, consumption of milk, which is a source of calcium, and still has vitamin D, is a good way to prevent this disease. The importance of milk in childhood and adolescence

Milk consumption is essential in early life. This is because the bone density that the person will achieve will depend on how much calcium will be ingested by age 20. From 0 to 20 years is the time when people need to ingest good amounts of calcium. If milk is withdrawn from the diet without being replaced by other sources of calcium, the chances of osteoporosis increase. Recommended amount of milk

To meet the daily calcium requirement, 1000 mg, the guidance is to consume three servings of dairy per day. It is good to vary between these sources, so the person can ingest, for example, a glass of 200 ml of milk, a slice of cheese of 50 grams and a yogurt.

The World Health Organization (WHO, in 2014 ) recommends per capita consumption of milk of 200 liters per year per inhabitant, about 0.575 liters per day, but according to data collected by the Ministry of Livestock and Supply (MAPA, 2014) per capita consumption of milk in Brazil is only 181 liters per year.

To achieve the recommended WHO target, Brazil should produce about 43 billion liters per year. But according to the 2014 Annualpec, the Brazilian cattle herd in the year 2013 produced approximately 26 billion liters of milk annually.

How to consume milk

For children and adolescents, the most indicated milk is the integral, because its fat is important for the formation of the nervous system of the young and for growth and this milk has more vitamins A, B and K. In cases of childhood obesity it is important to talk with a health professional to know which is the most indicated milk.

Adults who are in the correct weight can eat whole milk. In the case of those who are overweight or obese it is best to ingest the skim or semi-skimmed versions. Most of the elderly have a decrease in the intestinal mucosa and that is where lactase, an enzyme that helps to digest lactose, is produced. Therefore, for these people it is good to choose milks with lactose reduction.

Consuming milk after exercise is a great idea because the amount of minerals in milk helps to restore the loss that occurred during physical activity. In addition, the protein present in the beverage has the function of repairing microleads that occur as a normal physiological process when practicing physical activity and provides the regeneration and formation of new muscle cells. Avoid drinking the milk with the coffee, because the latter may disrupt calcium absorption from the dairy.

Compare milk with other foods

When compared to a serving of broccoli, a glass of milk has five times more calcium than the vegetable. When compared to yellow soybeans, milk has slightly less calcium. However, in both cases milk is still the best source of calcium, since the mineral in its animal version is more easily absorbed by the body than in the vegetable.

It is important to note that plant foods and grains have good amounts of a series of other nutrients that are essential for the diet and that milk has in smaller amounts, such as vitamin C. Therefore, they should also be part of a balanced diet.


Whole milk - 200 ml


CaloriesCalories446 kcal34 kcal
Calcium47 mgProteins
6.56 g36.49 g2.82 gSaturated fats
4.5 g2.8 g0.039 gMonounsaturated fats
9 g316 mgVitamin A66 mcg
03131 g4.3 g
0.011 gPotassium302 mgmcg
Vitamin C3 mg6 mg89.2 mg
Magnesium26 mg280 mg21 mg

Source: US Department of Agriculture table

Combining milk

Milk + honey: This combination is perfect for sleeping. This is because milk is a source of tryptophan, which will help provide well-being and tranquility and honey is a simple carbohydrate source that also helps in sleep as it facilitates the absorption of tryptophan.

Milk + chocolate: Drinking milk with chocolate is a good idea after exercise. This is because the combination helps build muscles, reduce fat, and improve performance, according to research conducted at the University of Texas in the United States.

Milk Prevents Type 2 Diabetes - Photo: Getty Images

Low-fat milk and chocolate are the right combination of carbohydrates and proteins, so the muscle sugar stores are replenished and the process of muscle breakdown is diminished by the protein.

Milk + cinnamon: Cinnamon will new benefits to milk. This is because it has an antimicrobial action, helps in the control of glycemia, lowers the levels of triglycerides and cholesterol, facilitates digestion and improves blood circulation. However, milk can not be very hot, because at high temperatures, cinnamon loses much of its nutrients.


Cow's milk is not indicated for children before two years of age. People with allergy to milk protein, pathology in which the person has an allergic reaction to cow's milk protein and in this case the consumption of the drink and its derivatives can not occur because the individual may have several allergic reactions such as gastrointestinal problems, reflux, vomiting, diarrhea and, in extreme cases, an anaphylactic shock.

Food is also not recommended for people who are lactose intolerant. People with this problem have difficulty digesting milk sugar. Thus, if they consume the milk can lead to diarrhea and slow digestion sensation. In these cases, some people tolerate foods with a little lactose, such as some types of cheeses or lactose-reduced milk, while others can not even ingest these alternatives.

Risks of excessive consumption

When the milk is ingested in excess there is the risk of gaining weight, since the drink has large amount of calories. In addition, as it has saturated fat there is a risk that large amounts of this substance will increase levels of bad cholesterol, LDL, and thus raise the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Recipes with milk

Learn to make tasty recipes with

- Banana porridge with oats and cinnamon

- Creamy natural yogurt

- Chocolate cake with quinoa cookies

Sources consulted:

Nutritionist Mariana del Bosco

Nutritionist Carolina Godoy da Equilibrium Consultoria

Nutrologist Roberto Navarro

Industrial Pharmacy Elza Grael, researcher at the Center for Research and Development in Dairy of the Institute of Food Technology

Agricultural Engineer Renato Abeilar, researcher at the Center for Research and Development in Dairy of the Institute of Food Technology

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