Milking it: Are 'healthier' rivals really any better than our traditional pint? We look at what's available

Gone are the days when the only milk available was full-fat or skimmed. Supermarket shelves are now heaving under the weight of everything from rice to soya to buffalo milk.

As a result, we're all drinking less cow's milk than we were a decade ago, amid fears about allergies and health scares such as BSE that have been linked to dairy foods.

'Many people are also put off whole cow's milk because they think - wrongly - that it's highly calorific,' says Lisa Miles, nutrition scientist for the British Nutrition Foundation.

'If you're looking to reduce fat in your diet, simply switch from whole milk to semi or 1 per cent-fat milk - this will reduce your saturated fat intake which is linked to an increased risk of heart disease,' she says. 'Despite this, it's important to remember that whole milk isn't classed as a high-fat product and is a highly nutritious drink.'

Lactose intolerance - an inability to absorb lactose, the main sugar in milk - is another reason why some switch to non-dairy milk options. Up to 15 per cent of people in the UK suffer from the condition, which causes abdominal pain and bloating.

There are now many varieties of lactose-free milk on the market. 'But if you are replacing cow's milk, for whatever reason, you need to check that the alternative has added vitamins and minerals, especially calcium, to make up for those in dairy,' says Sian Porter from the British Dietetic Society.

Source - Daily Mail

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