What is the difference between full-fat and skimmed dairy?
The main difference between full-fat milk and skimmed milk is the fat content and therefore the calorie content. The level of nutrients in milk is independent of the fat content, and equal in full and skimmed milk.
The history of dairy
Crop farmers and cattle farmers first began to keep cows about 10,000 years ago. They discovered that cows can convert grass, which is indigestible for humans, into the valuable food product milk. This was the perfect solution for people in areas where no other crops could grow.
Minerals in dairy
Milk and milk products can be a source of a variety of minerals. Most notably present are potassium, calcium and phosphorus. Dairy can therefore help to meet our body’s mineral requirements.
Nutrients naturally found in milk
Milk is nutritious by nature. It is much more than calcium alone. Fresh milk delivers a set of essential nutrients, such as proteins, vitamins and minerals and therefore it has a significant contribution to a healthy diet. Here you can find some information on the most important nutrients in milk.
Fat content and fat composition of dairy products
Many health authorities recommend dairy to be part of a healthy and balanced diet due to its nutrient density. Each milk product has its own unique fat content. As milk is processed in a myriad of ways, the fat content of dairy products can range from virtually 0% to around 80%. Milk fat is composed of a broad range of fatty acids, which makes it one of nature’s most complex fatty acid fractions.
Amino acids and protein quality of milk
Proteins are bio-molecules that are made up of smaller building blocks called amino acids. There are twenty different amino acids in total, nine of which are essential. Milk has a high protein quality, as it contains all nine essential amino acids in relatively high quantities.
Nutritional differences between milk and plant-based drinks
Milk has been consumed for around 10,000 years. Milk and milk products are part of the everyday diet of many. Milk naturally contains essential nutrients like protein, calcium, potassium, phosphor, iodine and vitamins B2 and B12. In recent years, there has been increasing interest in beverages based on soy, hemp, coconut, oat, rice and nuts.
Nutrients in milk
Milk naturally contains essential nutrients, such as protein, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iodine and vitamins B2 (riboflavin) and B12. These nutrients support various functions in the body.
Milk has a protein content of about 3.5%. Some dairy products contain more protein. For instance, dairy cheese spread contains on average over 11 g protein per 100 g and cheddar cheese an average of 25g per 100 g. Proteins contribute to the maintenance of normal bones and the growth and maintenance of muscle mass.
Quality of milk protein
Protein quality is determined on the basis of three characteristics, being: the quantity of protein in a foodstuff, the quantity of essential amino acids in the protein and the digestibility of the amino acids in the small intestine. Milk protein scores well for these items and therefore it is often regarded as a high-quality protein.