Dairy products are products made from fresh milk with special nutrients that occupy a prominent place in the pyramid of the Mediterranean diet. The production of dairy products is done with the help of special enzymes, which cause the coagulation of the proteins they contain. Dairy products are rich in vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, saturated fats, carbohydrates, but also in proteins of high biological value, which are the main structural component of the body and ensure proper functioning and muscle growth.
Types of dairy products
Milk and yogurt are the richest sources of calcium, but dairy products also include cheese, butter and ice cream.
Milk & Yogurt
Milk contains a number of vitamins and elements such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamins A, D and B vitamins. Together with yogurt, they are the richest sources of calcium and provide about 55% of the calcium in the diet.
Yogurt is a dairy product, produced after the fermentation of milk, with special lactic acid bacteria. It contains all the nutrients of milk and can be a complete meal, of high nutritional value, with a low caloric index. It contains a high percentage of protein, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamins A, B2 and B12.
The combination of these ingredients contributes to the rapid growth of the body and the maintenance of human health. The proteins in yogurt are of high biological value, while their quality is superior to milk. That is why it is an ideal food for all ages.
Finally, ice cream is an iced milk dessert. It is equivalent to a second glass of milk and is characterized as a safe food because it is stored and consumed frozen. Ice cream is usually made from cream and milk. However, there are many varieties of ice cream that are divided according to their type into ice cream yogurt, sorbet and gelato.
Cheeses & butter
Cheese is the product produced from the drainage of milk and is one of the oldest and most valuable foods in the human diet. It is rich in protein, calcium, vitamins A and D, B vitamins and phosphorus. The proteins it contains are broken down, due to the maturation of the cheese, as a result of which they are fully assimilated by the body. The high percentage of cheese in protein helps in the growth of muscle tissue and in the repair of damaged tissues of the body.
The types of cheese depending on the fat they contain are divided into:
- Lean cheeses, such as mizithra, feta, kefalotyri
- Moderate cheeses (from 10 - 50% fat) such as parmesan and gruyere
- Thick cheeses, such as manouri, kasseri, touloumotyri, roquefort.
Butter is a source of fat, rich in saturated fat and cholesterol. It also contains small amounts of lactose and proteins, vitamins and minerals. It has a high caloric value and its consumption offers the feeling of satiety. Butter has been known since antiquity, where it was used to enrich food. Today it is used as such, as a spread and as an additive fat in cooking and confectionery.