Full cream milk may also be the best choice for adults over 70 years, especially if they are underweight, frail or recovering from surgery or a fall. High energy, high protein diets for the elderly often recommend custards, rice pudding and hot chocolate drinks made with full cream milk.
Drinking milk is beneficial for health regardless of your age. Milk is an excellent vitamin D and calcium source to keep up muscle strength, maintain healthy bones, and prevent osteoporosis. Still, low or non-fat milk is the best choice for the elderly.
Age 60 and older
Drinking 1 cup of milk per day of either whole, 2%, 1%, or nonfat dairy milk, provides 8 grams of protein in your day. Therefore, milk is an easy way to get close to the recommended daily amount of protein for an adult 60 and older.
Whether you're 7 or 77, drinking milk at any age is important for good health. Milk is a good source of vitamin D and calcium, which older adults tend to need more of, to maintain bone strength, preserve muscle strength, and prevent osteoporosis.
Drinking more dairy milk may improve brain health in older adults, KU Medical Center researchers find. Older adults who drink three cups of dairy milk a day can increase their brain's level of a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the brain from the damage that accompanies aging and aging-related diseases.
Try having smaller meals more often and with nutritious snacks in between. It's important to eat regularly, at least three times a day.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recommends drinking one to two glasses of milk daily. For the six billion people around the world who regularly consume milk, that adds up to 2.4 billion liters every day – or the capacity of 960 Olympic swimming pools.
Even though many nutrients are found in milk, some seniors may not want to drink it because it makes them feel sick and bloated. Like any other food item, it's important for seniors who want to drink milk to take a balanced approach. Seniors should avoid excessive consumption and limit it to a glass or two a day.
Unfortunately many adults gradually lose the necessary digestive enzymes from their gastrointestinal tract, and they become intolerant of milk. However, if it can be tolerated then milk is a very good food from infancy through old age.
Milk is 'not necessary' for adults, but it's good for kids
MyPlate, the USDA's current nutritional guide enacted in 2011, suggests 2 to 3 cups of dairy for adults daily, but its definition is broadened to include yogurt and cheese, as well as calcium-fortified soy milk.
For healthy people, consuming full-fat milk as part of a balanced diet is now perfectly acceptable. New research has shown this type of dairy — not just milk, but yoghurt and cheese too — has a neutral effect on your risk of heart disease. It neither increases nor decreases your risk.
One of the most obvious benefits of drinking whole milk or full cream milk is the high calcium content. It is essential for your bones to develop and grow stronger. Further, calcium facilitates your heart muscles to pump blood. When you get injured, calcium plays a crucial role in enabling blood to clot.
Whole milk should be given to children until they're 2 years old because they need the extra energy and vitamins it contains. Semi-skimmed milk can be introduced once your child is 2 years old, as long as they're a good eater and they have a varied diet.
Having a proper peak bone mass and keeping it as long as possible is especially important for osteoporosis prevention. One of the most important calcium sources is milk and dairy products. Breast milk is the best infant food, but milk should not be avoided later in life to prevent losing bone mass.
Milk has been shown to help improve cognitive function and memory. It is a great source of protein, vitamin D, potassium, and calcium – all important nutrients for optimal brain health. If you're looking for an easy way to give your brain a little boost, consider adding milk to your diet.
It's fairly common to notice the signs of lactose intolerance appear as you get older, says Christine Lee, MD, a gastroenterologist at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. “This enzyme production can decrease over time in some people, so most people can experience some degree of lactose intolerance as they get older,” Lee says.
Milk can cause many digestive problems like gas, bloating, diarrhoea, or constipation. These problems are caused largely due to milk undergoing heavy processing, which leads to an imbalance between good and bad gut bacteria, or due to lactose intolerance.
Cheese is an excellent calcium and vitamin D source. Hence, pasteurized firm cheese is a perfect addition to an older person's food plan. However, soft cheeses such as brie, goat cheese, and camembert have high moisture levels and low acidity, so that they may contain illness-causing bacteria.
Again, the recommendation for older adults is to consume at least 1.7 liters/day, which corresponds to at least 57.5 fluid ounces. In the US, where a measuring cup = 8 ounces, this is equivalent to 7.1 cups/day. Keep a journal to record how much fluid your older parent is drinking.
Milk might be healthy and nutritious, but drinking too much of it in a day does not guarantee better health. Excessive intake of anything is harmful even if it is something as healthy as milk. As per a Swedish study, drinking too much milk in a day can be linked with mortality and increased risk of fracture.
Drinking milk may have adverse effects on digestion and may trigger discomfort, diarrhea and stomach ache as it gets difficult for the body to metabolize the protein, while the body is at rest. This can further impact sleep and cause sleepless nights.
Eliminating milk from your diet might help manage many digestive problems and support better gut health. You may also experience less gas and bloating throughout the body, Shapiro says. The lactose in milk can be difficult to digest, which is a major cause of bloating and feeling gassy.