Dairy foods are often grouped together, but the reality is that dairy is a disparate group of foods that can have quite different properties. When one thinks of dairy perhaps the first food that comes to mind is cow’s milk. However, dairy also contains cheese, yoghurt and other less common foods such as cottage cheese, and these can all have different nutritional properties. Even within the category of cow’s milk there are three main varieties of cow’s milk including full fat, semi-skimmed and skimmed, and these differ in their energy content and their nutrient content. Further, cow’s milk can be organic, from grass fed animals, or unpasteurised, and again these all have quite different properties. In addition to cow’s milk there are other forms of milk including goat’s milk. Therefore it is hard to generalise about dairy being good or bad unless detailed information is given about the types and amounts of the various foods which are consumed. However, studies show that dairy consumption is associated with improved health.
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