MILK is important in a healthy balanced diet providing many nutrients essential for good health.  

A portion size of milk is 250mls, which is just under half a pint.  The nutrients in milk include carbohydrate for energy, protein for structure of our bodies, minerals such as potassium for movement, magnesium for tooth enamel and calcium for bones and iodine for thyroid hormones.

Milk is also a really good source of vitamin B2, B3, B5, B9 and B12 which help with energy release, adrenaline, red blood cells and our DNA genetic blueprint.  Several celebrities’ extreme diets suggest that milk and dairy should be avoided but this is nonsense and cutting out milk will do more harm than good as dairy plays an important part of a healthy balanced diet.

If watching your calories and/or cholesterol you have the option of semi-skimmed or skimmed milks which fall under green, purple or red lids.  If going for the skimmed versions of milk you will be doing your vitamin A levels a disservice as there is more vitamin A in the blue lid because of the increased fat content.  So be sure to supplement  with orange and yellow vegetables like sweet potato, carrots, butternut squash, peppers etc on a daily basis to replenish the vitamin A that you would be losing out on.  These vegetables have a plant chemical called beta-carotene that changes to vitamin A in the body to provide us with healthy vision.

Milk and dairy foods are affordable, safe to consume daily, wholesome and a delicious source of essential nutrients.  If you are vegan you have wide range of plant-based milks but make sure they are fortified with vitamin B2, B12, calcium and iodine so your not losing out on vital nutrients.  

Lee McCusker (BA; MSc; MSc; MSc; ANutr; SENr) is a registered nutritionist from Belfast and can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  Email: attentive