By Meera Shah, Registered Dietician, CDE
Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP) is a manufactured dairy product made by evaporating milk to dryness. One purpose of drying milk is to preserve it; milk powder has a far longer shelf life than liquid milk and does not need to be refrigerated, due to its low moisture content.
Milk powders contain all twenty-one standard amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, and are high in soluble vitamins and minerals.
Approximate Nutritive Value of Milk Powder
Milk powder can be added in milk and milk products to improve the quality of proteins, especially in vegetarian guests having poor economic status. In vegetarian guests, sometimes it is very difficult to meet up the protein requirement; in such cases, SMP can be added. Since it is in powdered form, it can be used as a thickening agent in dals, vegetables to improve the quality of protein. On an average, 15 grams of milk powder will be equivalent to 100 ml of cow’s milk.
However, milk solids along with protein will be dense in calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. The challenge is to delicately strike the balance of calcium, phosphorus and potassium in the diet, as most the people on the haemodialysis need to stay within 800-1,000 mg of phosphorus and 2,000 mg of potassium daily allowance.
Unfortunately, not all of this is mentioned on the nutrition label. The ingredient list often gives clues to help: it may state, “fortified with calcium” which would be best avoided or have phosphate additives in the ingredient list such as potassium phosphate. It is also advisable to check label even if you have been using the same product for years, as companies do change the ingredients. Guests can work with a renal dietician and their doctors to keep their levels in balance. Renal dietician can calculate their dietary calcium, Phosphorus and potassium and accordingly can recommend the dosage.