It is hard to imagine a world without dairy. Most people would think of milk when it comes to dairy products but there is a whole suite of stuff that comes from milk.
Food items that you might be eating on a daily basis without even realising it and wondering how on earth did they make something so yummy.
What Are Dairy Products?
Dairy products are primarily made from milk and have many health benefits. Cow’s milk is the most popular source of dairy products around the globe. But there are some cultures that prefer dairy products made from goats, sheep, buffalo and even camel!
What Are The Health Benefits Of Dairy?
You have always been told to drink your milk as a kid without really knowing why. There’s a good reason for that.
Dairy products are high in calcium which helps to promote the development of strong bones in both young and old.
Dairy products also contain many important vitamins and minerals that are essential for normal bodily functions, strong immune system, muscle repair and growth.
Types Of Dairy Products
Here is a list of dairy products that you may or may not have eaten before.
One of the world’s most used spread and cooking ingredients. Butter is made from churning milk which allows the fat globules to be separated from the buttermilk.
You can find a wide range of butter at most supermarkets, ranging from salted, unsalted, whipped and clarified.
Not many can resist the smell of melted butter over pancakes and waffles in the morning.
The thing is, butter has gotten quite a lot of bad press over the years as an unhealthy dairy product. This is because it is high in saturated fat as it is made from animal fat.
Cats are known to love butter due to the high-fat content in it. But too much butter isn’t safe for cats.
There is some nutritional value to butter as it contains vitamins A, D, and E but it is still best to eat it in moderation for health sake
A more ‘healthier’ alternative would be margarine. However, some might feel that it isn’t as healthy as butter due to the high trans fat content.
The global market for cheese is huge. It is worth almost $120 billion and is expected to grow annually. The United States accounts for the largest amount of cheese consumed globally.
Cheese is made from curdling milk in huge vats with the help of some bacteria and enzymes. The characteristics of cheese, like the way it smells or taste, depends on the kind of animal milk used and the manufacturing process.
There are more than hundreds of varieties of cheeses around the world ranging from stinky, creamy, hard and chewy.
Here’s a fun fact.
The most expensive cheese in the world is called Pule cheese. It is made from the milk of the Balkan doney, which is an endangered species. The going rate of this cheese is $600 per pound.
Cream is made from skimming off the top layer of fresh unpasteurized milk. Cream is very high in fat content and the higher the fat content, the tastier it is.
It is very satisfying to lick off a huge dollop of cream from your finger.
Cream is a popular ingredient when it comes to making cakes and baked goodies. And it can be found in almost every Starbucks drink.
To make sour cream, lactic acid is added to cream to give it a bit of a stronger bite. The best type of cream for your tacos and nachos.
Yogurt has been growing in popularity over the past decade as the thing every health-conscious individual should have for breakfast.
Yogurt is made from the fermentation of milk by adding cultures to it. The longer the milk is allowed to ferment, the thicker and fuller it gets, like greek yoghurt.
Not only does yogurt contains all the goodness of a dairy product, but it also has probiotics that help to improve your gut flora and digestive health.
Not only is yogurt healthy but it is also very versatile.
You can use it in cooking, baking and even freeze it to make a popsicle.
Ice cream is one of the best food inventions ever created and something loved by both young and old. The number of flavors that you can get these days is totally mind-boggling.
There are even flavors that I never even know existed!
Ice cream is made by stirring milk, cream, sweeteners and flavors while it is being frozen. For those that are more health-conscious, there are healthier alternatives like gelato and sherbet.
There are also companies that are manufacturing ice cream for people who are diabetic or on a keto diet.
If you have ever drunk a protein shake or even a protein bar before, you would have heard of why protein.
Whey protein is found in milk and is created during the creation of cheese whereby a protein-rich liquid is separated from the milk called whey.
Whey is considered a complete protein that has all the amino acids needed for building and repairing muscle.
What also makes whey so versatile is that it is very neutral tasting which makes it a great and healthy ingredient to add to your cooking or baking if you want a boost of protein.
Cottage cheese is made from acidifying milk. This allows the curds to separate from the whey. This gives cottage cheese more texture and a creamier taste.
Cottage cheese is popular amongst the health-conscious as it is lower in fat content and higher in protein as compared to regular cheese.
One downside though is that cottage cheese has a lot less calcium as most of it is removed during the manufacturing process.
If you are a fan of yogurt then you would have heard of kefir as well.
Kefir is a drink that comes from Russia and contains many healthy bacteria strains and probiotics like yogurt.
Some starter grains are added to milk and if left to ferment in a warm place. Kefir is great for those who have lactose intolerance as the lactose is broken down during the fermentation process.
Once fermented, kefir becomes thick and has a tangy taste. It can also taste slightly fizzy due to the fermentation process.
What If You Are Lactose Intolerant?
Someone that is lactose intolerant is not able to break down lactose which is the sugar found in milk. The consumption of dairy products can lead to bloatedness, flatulence, diarrhea and stomach pain.
This condition is usually passed down the family line and can’t be cured. But many have managed to manage their symptoms by being more careful with their diet.
There are a couple of dairy products that you can eat if you have lactose intolerance.
- Hard cheeses
- Whey protein
Another totally lactose-free alternative is rice milk which is ‘milk’ made from rice. Although it is lactose-free, rice milk is very high in carbs and sugar. Cats owners should take note of this if they do plan to give rice milk to their cat.
As amazing and delicious as dairy products are, one still has to be mindful of the high-fat content in many milk-based products especially cream, cheeses and butter.
If you have a past history of high blood pressure, stroke or any cardiovascular disease, it would be best to eat such food types in moderation as high-fat food can cause health issues.
Moderation is the key.