The Importance of Milk in the Diet

Fresh milk in a glass jug on a blue napkin with a flowerMilk products contain high quality proteins. The whey proteins constitute about 18 percent of the protein content of milk. Casein, a protein found only in milk, contains all of the essential amino acids. It accounts for 82 percent of the total proteins in milk and is used as a standard for evaluating protein of other foods. Protein is needed to build and repair body tissues and to form antibodies which circulate in the blood and help fight infection.
Milk contains nutrients such as: calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. The calcium found in milk is readily absorbed by the body. Phosphorus plays a role in calcium absorption and utilization. Phosphorus is needed in the proper ratio to calcium to form bone. Milk provides these two minerals in approximately the same ratio as found in bone. Milk is also a significant source of riboflavin (vitamin B2) which helps promote healthy skin and eyes as well as vitamins A and D.


In adults, a calcium deficiency, along with other factors, may result in bone deterioration called osteoporosis.
The following daily consumption of milk is suggested:

Children 3 cups
Teenagers 4 cups
Adults 3 cups
Adults over 51 4 cups
Pregnant and lactating woman 3 cups