Milk is one of the most wholesome foods available. In the human life cycle the maximum growth takes place from birth to 3 months of age. During this period God has chosen milk as the only one food that the infant consumes. Therefore it must be a very special food. It contains almost all the essential nutrients – Water, minerals – calcium, vitamin – A, B, D, and E. It also contains carbohydrate- lactose, protein and fat.
It is a food that has been consumed by man from the beginning of time and is required in the human diet from birth to death. Today many adults as well as children have almost given up the consumption of milk. Young people feel it’s not fashionable to drink milk and adults feel its too fattening. The result is poor teeth weak bones and muscle, breaking nails and falling hair. Most of the older people complain of back pain, neck and joint pains.
Please note that in the human diet milk is the only largest source of calcium, which can be consumed on a daily basis. The argument is “I don’t want to drink the milk but I can just take a calcium tablet”. You may get your calcium but your protein supply again mainly comes from milk. Half liter of milk gives you approximately 15 gms of protein and about 500 mg of calcium. We need the milk but we must remove the fat.
Most milk packets contain fat. There are however two types; the red packet is whole milk, which contains the whole normal fat that is present in cow’s milk (approx.6%). The blue or green packets contains approximately 3% fat. Some companies supply skimmed milk, which contains less than 1.5% fat. Normally it is advisable to use less than 3% fat milk but after removing as much fat as possible by the following method called ‘skimming’. Heat milk on fire and bring to boil, do not switch off the fire but lower the flame and allow milk to simmer on slow fire for 10-15 minutes. Cool, refrigerate and remove the cream after 5-6 hours. Use yesterday’s milk for this morning’s coffee. Curd must be set only after refrigerating and removing the cream. All those on a weight reduction diet and those who have cholesterol, triglyceride or diabetic problems must use milk that has been skimmed as mentioned above.
However during weight reduction and till cholesterol and sugar levels are brought down, the ideal thing would be to use skimmed milk powder like Sagar or Anik spray or packet milk that has less than 1% fat. To use skimmed milk powder mix 2 heaped or full tablespoons of powder in 1 glass (200 ml) of warm water. Curd made from this is very enjoyable and so is buttermilk or lassi made from this curd and it is safe for consumption whenever hungry. While on a diet 2-3 glasses of this skimmed milk is permitted for most people.
Today skimmed milk is available in ready to use packets, on the shelf, in most super markets. They contain 0.5% fat and is very useful for those on weight reduction diets, heart patients, diabetics, etc. Curd too can be made from this skimmed milk. It is safe to consume 500 -700 ml of this 0.5% of skimmed milk daily.
Milk fat contains cholesterol and 1 gm fat gives 9 calories, so 1teaspoon of cream, butter, ghee, gives 35-45 calories. Therefore milk must be skimmed and we must be cautious about consumption of cream in milk, butter, ghee, etc. paneer and milk sweets which are made from full cream milk.