Milk: Five reasons to raise a glass on June 1
AUSTRALIANS love their milk, consuming on average 105 litres per year.
But it's not enough considering nine in 10 of us are failing to meet the Australian Dietary Guidelines' recommended intake of the dairy food group.
Legendairy Ambassador and Celebrity Chef Karen Martini says the fact so many of us see milk as simply a cereal topper or coffee accompaniment has a lot to do with it.
"One way to work more dairy, like milk, into your diet is to incorporate it in your cooking, side dishes and desserts.
Dairy products are so pure, rich and luscious, they enhance almost every ingredient you pair them with. So, give it a go," Karen said.
"What's more, something as simple as a glass of milk is not only refreshing for kids - and not just kids - but it is also 'real' food, a real snack full of nutrients.
"I'm a real believer in cooking with wholefoods, foods that are unprocessed and as complete as possible. Milk is just that - an essential wholefood."
In celebration of the 15th annual World Milk Day coming up on Wednesday 1 June, here's five reasons why we should all raise a glass:
1. It's good for us. Milk is packed full of nutrients including calcium, protein, riboflavin and more, all from one single ingredient: milk! This unique package of nutrients is essential for healthy bones and teeth, can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and even some cancers.
2. It's not linked to weight gain. Contrary to popular opinion, when consumed in adequate amounts as part of a calorie-controlled diet, milk can help to accelerate weight loss, particularly from around the waist.
3. It tastes delicious! Be it in a béchamel for a lasagne or vegetable bake, mixed through pancake or scone batter, as a stock replacement in a meat ragu or on its own as a cold glass in the morning, milk can enhance the taste of many meals.
4. We need more of it. Despite all this, recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed dairy is the second-most lacking food group in Australians' diets after vegetables, with 90 per cent of us not getting our recommended serves and missing out on its many benefits.
5. It helps our Australian dairy farmers. Every Australian milk product we buy is helping our local dairy farmers, who need our support now more than ever