Nutritional benefits

Milk and dairy products like cheese are great sources of protein and calcium and can form part of a healthy diet. Protein is needed in the diet to help the body grow and repair itself while calcium helps us to develop strong bones and teeth.

Comparing notes

At the High Weald Dairy we make cheese from cow, sheep and goat milk, each of which has a different nutritional make up. All of our cheese is made using pasteurised milk which means it is safe for pregnant women to eat and we only use a vegetarian rennet which means our cheeses are suitable for vegetarians too.

Although the milk varies between breeds and the lactation, the table shown below is a typical analysis.

High Weald Dairy Sussex Slipcote

Milk content

Total solids

Proteins %

Fats %

Lactose %

Calcium mg/100g

Zinc mg/100g

Riboflavin mg/litre

Folic acid mg/100g

Calories/100g

Sheep

18.3

5.6

6.7

4.8

210

0.85

4.3

0.6

102

Goat

11.2

2.9

3.9

4.1

132

0.34

1.4

0.06

77

Cow

12.1

3.4

3.5

4.5

110

0.3

2.2

0.5

73

If you are worried about cholesterol – remember that the level of fat does not necessarily relate to the level of cholesterol, 45% of the fatty acids in sheep milk are mono or polyunsaturated.

Food intolerances

Sheep and goat milk, yoghurt and cheeses can be a solution for people who are intolerant to cow’s milk providing a source of calcium. It is not suitable for people who are lactose intolerant. Both the Asthma Research Council and the National Eczema Society recommend that a switch to sheep or goat milk can help with the management of those conditions.

At the High Weald Dairy, we are particularly enthusiastic about sheep milk, from which we make many of our cheeses. Sheep milk is both higher in both fat and protein than cow or goat milk. This gives it a sweeter taste. It is also higher in calcium, zinc and B vitamins, as you will see from the table above.  The excellent grassland in Britain is ideal for sheep and they live outside most of the year. Our sheep milk is supplied by Top Paddock and is sold frozen. You can also buy it direct from Top Paddock. Due to the small fat and protein particles it will not separate out on defrosting and can be kept frozen for up to four months.