When buying some products from a convenient store, do the ingredients of the product determine what you will buy? Do you always check the ingredients to know if milk is in the product? Is milk bad for you?
Most people are not aware that some foods contain milk. Milk and dairy ingredients such as whey, casein, butter oil and powdered milk are added to food to increase protein and calcium, lengthen shelf-life and enhance flavors.
There is milk in most of the food that you don’t expect, therefore, avoiding milk become difficult for those who want to avoid allergies or those who prefer milk-free diet. Sometimes the food products are marketed and can be deceiving as they may contain milk.
Fortunately, more brands of food are beginning to move away from adding additives and fillers. Since milk is the top allergen, most manufacturers identify milk as one of the ingredients. Regardless, you need to be vigilant and ensure that you read ingredients lists before consuming anything. Some foods have misleading labels even when it has dairy. Here are the top 10 surprising foods that contain milk.
1. Baby Cereals
Most doctors recommend fortified cereals as the first solid food for babies. These meals are called oat cereals or rice cereals and people tend to assume that these meals only contain oats and rice. However, infant cereals usually have skim milk powder which is added to increase calcium and protein.
2. Potato Chips
The ingredients of regular potato chips are salt, oil and potatoes, but flavored chips contain lactose. Flavors like onion, sour cream and cheddar is known to contain milk, but you will be surprised to know that other flavors such as dill pickle, ketchup and barbecue include milk as well.
3. Tomato Sauce
Most people believe that “original” tomato sauce contain only spices and tomatoes. It is surprising to realize that some pasta sauces contain Romano cheese. We expect that pasta sauces that identify cream and cheese in their names to contain milk, but we forget to check if traditional or original tomato sauces contain milk.
4. Chicken Nuggets and Fish Sticks
People who have ever made homemade chicken fingers and fish sticks can easily assume that commercial breaded chicken or fish contain protein with spices, wheat and maybe eggs. Well, nearly all frozen products contain milk.
Consumers assume that since Nutella is a hazelnut spread, then it is just like other nut butters which contain sweeteners, oil and salt. However, the main ingredients of Nutella are palm oil, sugar, cocoa, hazelnuts, whey powder and skim milk powder.
6. Breakfast Bars and Granola bars
The ingredients of homemade granola bars are grains, seeds, nuts and sweeteners such as molasses or honey. Packaged granola bars have the same ingredients, but also contain milk ingredients.
7. All Beef Hot Dogs
Just by the name, consumers might assume that the hot dogs contain beef only. You need to know that it isn’t always the case. Most of the hot dog brands that advertise “all beef” contain milk ingredients as well as water, beef and corn starch.
Sometimes salad dressing tend to be deceiving as people believe that creamy dressing contain milk while vinaigrettes don’t. It is wrong to assume that. Some creamy dressing don’t have any milk while vinaigrette have Romano and Parmesan cheese. Reading through the entire ingredient list is crucial. Sometimes product names, textures and descriptions doesn’t help in identifying if a product contain milk.
9. Canned Pasta in the Tomato Sauce
Most kids love eating pasta and that explains the reason why canned pasta is made in fun shapes such as princesses, alphabets or superheroes. Canned goods are labeled “pasta in tomato sauce” but usually contain milk or cheese for extra nutrients and flavor.
We expect to find milk in cheese-flavored crackers but not in the “original” flavored crackers. Sometimes crackers contain modified milk ingredients that improve texture and lengthen shelf life.