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Choosing the Right Milk

New varieties of milk are spilling into the marketplace one after another. Besides fresh whole milk, we now have options like high calcium milk, skim milk and milk with extra iron and zinc.

There's no question that milk is nourishing. But will these new varieties make us healthier. Experts say this is not necessarily true.

Knowing that milk is a good source of calcium, many consumers prefer to drink high-calcium milk. Experts point out that it's unnecessary because natural milk provides all the calcium a person requires.

The so-called calcium-added milk actually makes it harder for the body to assimilate the excess calcium and - in some cases - can cause an excessive concentration of minerals in the kidneys, the gall bladder or urinary bladder. Therefore, there is no need to add calcium in milk.

Milk with added zinc and iron microelements is also being promoted by dairy companies. However, experts suggest that this milk may not be suited to everyone's needs because different people need different types of milk.

Children in some parts of the country do lack certain microelements, but it is not a common phenomenon. Thus, experts advise consumers to choose microelement-added milk only if advised to do so by a doctor.

Besides adding different ingredients to milk, the dairy producers are taking things out of milk, such as fat. These low-fat dairy products are popular as well.

In fact, the 3 percent fat contained in whole milk is not a significant factor in weight gain. And actually there is little difference between whole milk and skim milk, since the latter lowers the fat content from 3 percent to 1 percent.

Experts conclude that natural milk is good enough for your health.

(Xinhua News Agency November 18, 2003)

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