Do we need Dairy?

Skimmed milk


Last week a few newspapers reported that dairy needs to be reduced in diets, to help with the obesity crisis in the UK.  The Dairy Council obviously argued that dairy was needed for calcium and iodine and should not be reduced.  But how much does milk provide of these nutrients?

Whole milk (known as full fat) provides on average 118mg of calcium per 100ml and 31mcg of iodine, whilst also providing 4.5mg sugar and 2.5mg saturated fat.  Skimmed milk provides on average 122mg calcium, 29mcg of iodine, 4.4mg of sugar and 0.1g saturated fat.

So if we need to get our calcium or iodine from another ingredient where would we look?  For calcium try curly kale, which when boiled in salted water provides 150mg of calcium (and only1.3g of sugar and 0.2g of saturated fat), or steamed spring greens that provide 160mg calcium.  Without even having to cook, 100g of sesame seeds provides 670mg of calcium – throw them into your smoothie in the morning, or sprinkle over your steamed greens.  And for iodine we have mineral rich kelp and other seaweeds such as wakame, and cranberries – so don’t just use them at Christmas!

Baking without dairy is also possible – thats where our lovely coconut oil comes in!  Here are a few tips on how to use it:

If you are making pastry or bread, use Coconoil as you would butter, by rubbing it in with your fingertips.  For things like brownies or other cakes you may find it easier to melt it gently first.  If you are following a recipe that uses butter just reduce the amount of Coconoil you need by about a quarter, as it is much richer.

And if you want to continue using dairy but are concerned about weight, The Dairy Council gives the following advice:

  • Reduced portion sizes
  • Increased fruit and vegetable intake
  • Reduced sugar intake
  • Reduced alcohol intake
  • High fibre varieties of bread, rice and pasta
  • Reduced overall fat intake and particularly saturated fat intake





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