The Consumer Education Project of Milk SA

Nutrient Components of Dairy

Nutrient components of dairy

The review describes the main components of milk and their physiological importance. Although milk is principally a liquid food, it contains on average 13% solids, of which most are non-fats. As milk provides a meaningful amount of nutrients relative to its energy content, it is therefore considered a nutrient-dense food. Milk solids include protein in the form of casein and whey, carbohydrates in the form of lactose, a small amount of fat, and several essential vitamins and minerals. Milk and dairy provide both water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins, and are also good sources of readily bioavailable minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium and trace elements such as iodine, zinc and selenium. A serving of milk (250 ml) provides approximately 300 mg calcium, while three servings of full-cream dairy will provide close to a third of the adult recommended daily allowance of vitamin A, which is commonly lacking in many South Africans’ diet

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