Getting it right with your milk choices: Dairy (Cow) Milk

Nigerian Woman Drinking Diary MilkWe started out on the basics of milk products alongside with the different types of milk- Diary and Non-Diary Milk. Our focus today is on the latter. As its name implies, Diary milk is of animal origin unlike the Non-Diary milk which are typically of plant origins. This loose definition includes all sources of animal milk such as Goat milk, Sheep milk, etc but the commonest by far is still the Cow’s milk.

The term “Dairy Products” broadly refers to various foodstuffs derived from the processing of dairy milk. All these products vary in their processing and culinary use. Examples are Yogurts and Cheese.

Different types of Dairy Milk

The degree of processing is the basis for differentiating the different types of diary milk because it determines how much nutritional value is left of it. Let us consider the following types of milk:


Whole Milk: This contains all its natural fats and other solid components such as carbohydrate, protein, minerals, vitamins etc. The fat and solid content per 100ml must not fall below 3% and 8.2% respectively.

Evaporated Milk: This is produced by heating whole milk until it has lost 60% of its water content. This can also lead to loss of some vitamins.

Powdered Milk: This type of milk comes in different forms such as whole milk, skimmed or low fat milk. But the major feature is that it contains only 5% moisture. This increases the shelf life for about 3years or more.

Condensed Milk: This is produced by adding about 40-45% sugar by weight to evaporate milk. This high sugar concentration inhibits the growth of bacteria.

Low Fat Milk: This milk contains about 0.5%-2% of fat.

Skimmed milk: Whole milk with milk fat content reduced to 0.5%

Non Fat Milk: Contains less than 0.2 fat content.

In the spirit of healthy-living, you need to note that the most striking feature of these various types of milk lies in their various compositions of Fat Content. This is absolutely important to help you know what to look out for while shopping and making your food choices.


The peculiarities of Cow’s milk

Cow milk’s popularity has largely soared because it is undeniably loaded with much nutritious stuff but there are also a few health concerns that are associated with diary (cow) milk. These are the major things you should know:

  1. Some people are also allergic to cow milk
  2. Several people (and babies) are intolerant to the milk sugar lactose (Lactose Intolerance)
  3. Most of its fat content is saturated fat


For today, let’s focus on the first one about the milk allergies (we’ll get to the others later, stick around and hook up with us on Facebook and/or Twitter).

Cow’s milk contains certain proteins, but two of them are major health concerns to us humans. They are called Beta-Lactoglobulin (BLG) and Casein. BLG protein is not present in our human body in the first place. These proteins are the primary reason why people have milk allergies because their body’s immune system reacts to the presence of these proteins in their diet.

Barely a week ago, scientists in New Zealand made news as they achieved a historic milestone because first time ever, they created a “Hypo-allergic Cow Milk” by tinkering with the genetics of the BLG protein. It’s a big deal and advancement but this only serves as news for now and it is not full proof.

However, these peculiarities of cow’s milk alongside with the vegetarian diet are what gave rise to the search for other non-diary milk options.

To be continued next week on Non-diary Milk


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