One pint of milk contains 18g of high quality protein, no starch, 28g of carbohydrate as the sugar lactose and 23g of fat. (28g = 1oz) It should be used as part of a protein meal.
It is particularly useful as a source of calcium and of riboflavin. Most children can drink and digest milk and it contains a useful amount of most vitamins, except for vitamins C and D. It contains most minerals except for iron. Skimmed milk has less than 1.8% fat and has lost most of the fat soluble vitamins. It still retains the same calcium levels as full milk. Heat treated milk contains fewer vitamins than fresh milk.
Milk should be drunk as fresh as possible, but can stored for up to two days in a refrigerator to preserve the vitamins and prevent microbes from multiplying.
Cow's milk is not suitable for children under one year old unless it has been specially modified. Whole milk, not skim or semi-skim, can be given to children aged one to two years.
Many adults are unable to digest the lactose in milk except in small quantities, and yogurt or cheese can provide the calcium and vitamins.
Cheese is formed from the milk protein, casein, and still contains most of the protein, fat and vitamin A of the milk. It has lost most of the lactose and the B vitamins. Fromage frais is a low fat soft cheese that retains high levels of calcium.
Yogurt is nutritionally similar to milk, except that the lactose level has been reduced. It still contains excellent levels of protein, calcium and riboflavin. Fat levels can vary from 0.2% to 9% according to the type of milk used. Yogurts often have added flavourings and sugar, but plain yogurts to which you add your own flavourings give the greatest control of the nutritional content.
Single cream is 21% fat, whipping cream is 21% fat and double cream is 48% fat. It still contains vitamins A, E and D.
Eggs contain 12% protein and 10% fat. and contribute useful amounts of vitamins D, retinol, riboflavin and the minerals iodine and iron. The iron is best absorbed when eaten with a meal that contains plenty of vitamin C.