Q: I just heard on the news that June is National Dairy Month. Can you explain how 3-A-Day of Dairy can help you lose weight?
A: A growing body of research indicates that enjoying three daily servings of dairy as part of a reduced-calorie diet can give adults better results when it comes to trimming the waistline than cutting calories alone.
Research indicates that dairy has a natural mix of nutrients that may help adults burn more body fat and lose more inches around the waist; however, the exact mechanism behind the dairy/weight loss connection is not yet fully understood. Research by Dr. Michael Zemel from the University of Tennessee suggests that the effect is at the cellular level - potentially, components of dairy foods may assist with fat breakdown. And fat oxidation studies from Dr. Ed Melanson from the University of Colorado suggest that adequate dairy food consumption in conjunction with acute energy deficit may enhance fat oxidation.
For a summary of the current body of research on dairy/calcium and weight loss, which includes dozens of peer-reviewed studies (both epidemiological and clinical) from around the world, visit www.nationaldairycouncil.org/NationalDairyCouncil/Healthyweight/Science.htm.
A: Is whole milk the only fluid milk that contains vitamin D?
A: No, that is a misconception. Whole milk is often named Vitamin D milk, which gives the indication that it is the only fluid milk that contains vitamin D. However, here's the real story on fluid milks: Whole milk (3.25 percent fat) contains 150 calories and 8 grams of fat per serving (8 fluid ounces).
Although not required, whole milk may be fortified with vitamin D at a level of 400 International Units (IU) per 1 quart If vitamin D is added, the label must state this fact.
¢ Two percent reduced-fat milk contains 120 calories and 5 grams of fat per serving. Vitamins A and D are removed with the milk fat. For this reason, these vitamins must be added to 2 percent reduced-fat milk so that it contains at least 2,000 IU of vitamin A and 400 IU of vitamin D per 1 quart. The addition of these vitamins must be stated on the label.
¢ One percent low-fat milk (also called light milk) contains 100 calories and 2.5 grams of fat per serving. Vitamins A and D must be added to a level of at least 2,000 IU of vitamin A and 400 IU of vitamin D per 1 quart. The label must indicate the addition of these vitamins.
¢ Fat-free milk (also called skim or nonfat milk) contains 80 calories per serving. Vitamins A and D must be added to a level of at least 2,000 IU of vitamin A and 400 IU of vitamin D per 1quart The label must indicate the addition of these vitamins.
¢ Chocolate milk (fat-free, 1 percent lowfat, 2 percent reduced-fat, whole milk) is milk to which chocolate or cocoa and a sweetener have been added. This milk is just as nutritious as its unflavored counterpart. Compared to plain milk, chocolate milk contains about 60 more calories per serving.
¢ Evaporated milk (6.5 percent fat) is made by removing about 60 percent of the water from whole milk. The milk is then homogenized, fortified with vitamin D to a level of 25 IU per 1fluid ounce, canned and heat sterilized. The addition of vitamin A is optional. If added, each fluid ounce must contain not less than 125 IU of vitamin A.
¢ Evaporated fat-free milk (.5 percent fat or less) is a concentrated, fortified (vitamins A and D) fat-free (skim or nonfat) milk that is canned and sterilized.
¢ Sweetened condensed milk (8 percent fat or less) is a canned milk concentrate of whole milk to which sugar has been added. The sweetener used (usually sucrose) prevents spoilage.
¢ Sweetened condensed fat-free milk contains no more than .5 percent milk fat.
Q: What the difference between pasteurization and homogenization?
A: Pasteurization is the process of heating raw milk at a high enough temperature for a sufficient length of time to make milk bacteriologically safe and increase its keeping quality.
Homogenization breaks up and disperses milk fat throughout milk, resulting in a smooth, uniform texture. Most whole milk is homogenized to prevent the cream from rising to the top. Homogenization results in a softer curd in the stomach that aids digestion.
To celebrate June as Dairy Month, here's a summer treat that you may want to try:
1 1/2 cups 1 percent lowfat milk
1 pint lowfat vanilla yogurt
2 ripe bananas, peeled, sliced
1 1/4 cups sliced strawberries
2 tablespoons honey
12-14 ice cubes
In blender jar, combine milk, yogurt, bananas, strawberries and honey; add enough ice to measure 6 cups in blender. Process until smooth, scraping sides as necessary. Garnish each serving with strawberry slice and fresh mint if desired. Makes 5 servings (8 ounces each).