Milk and dairy products are an important part of the daily diet in many regions of the world due to their recognised contribution to the recommended intake of a variety of valuable nutrients, the amount of energy (calories) they provide and their ability to compensate for foods in the diet with lesser nutritional value. Since epidemiological research shifted its focus from studying the relationships between specific nutrients (such as calcium, protein or saturated fat) and health towards whole food products (e.g., milk, yogurt, cheese, butter) and health, many unexpected scientific insights were obtained. The anticipated negative health impact of salt and saturated fat was for instance not found in the case of cheese consumption. Besides this observation, many epidemiological studies and intervention trials since then have shown that the consumption of dairy products shows either favorable or neutral associations with non-communicable disease clinical outcomes.
Table of contents
2 Dairy as part of a sustainable diet
3 The dairy matrix
4 Dairy matrix effects: case studies
6 Where to look for further information