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Milk drinks make a good light snack

Beverages made with milk, yoghurt, buttermilk, kefir or whey make a refreshing and satisfying snack between meals. They're available in so many flavours that you'll never suffer from boredom. Milkshakes are a staple product of almost every icecream parlour. But be careful – milkshakes made with icecream or cream are pretty heavy on the calories. Healthier would be a shake made with low-fat milk and fresh fruit. And you could make it yourself at home.

Most supermarkets have a huge choice of luscious yoghurts on their chiller shelves. Some are thick and intended for spooning, others are thinner  and intended to be drunk. The latter don't contain extra water, it's the result of a slightly different production process where the yoghurt is not allowed to thicken.

All made with milk

Ayran or lassi is a popular drink in the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. The basis is thick yoghurt made with cultures that produce a more acid yoghurt. This is then whipped up with water and salt to create a refreshing drink for a hot day.


Buttermilk is basically a waste product of butter making. It can be labelled "Pure buttermilk" only if it contains only buttermilk. Other products labelled simply "Buttermilk" can contain up to 15% water, milk powder or low-fat milk.


Kefir is made by allowing milk to ferment with lactic acid bacteria and kefir starter grains. The kefir starter culture turns the lactose completely into carbon dioxide and alcohol. Many kefir fans order the starter culture online and produce their daily supply of kefir at home.


Whey is a by-product of cheese production. It contains a vanishingly small proportion of fat. Healthy though it is, the yellow-green colour and the sour smell make it difficult to like. That's why you often find whey sold in the form of fruit smoothies, rather than pure.


Health benefits

If fruit in some form is added to a milk product it is then officially labelled a "mixed milk product" – it must still contain at least 70% milk. "Pure milk drinks and also mixed milk products are rich in protein, as well as supplying potassium, magnesium, calcium and iodine for your muscles, bones and teeth plus B vitamins for your nerves," Harald Seitz, nutritionist at aid. He recommends checking product labels for a list of ingredients and calorie counts.


Source: Eva Neumann, www.aid.de