Drive to Dairy
Are you falling short on dairy? American intake of milk and dairy foods is indeed less than what’s recommended. To be certain you and your family meet the 2010 Dietary Guidelines and recommendations from MyPlate, make sure you’re getting enough milk and dairy foods.
Be A Dairy Diva
Because most people take in less milk and dairy products than what’s recommended by experts, the key is to make sure you and your family get enough. See the scoop on the important role dairy plays:
- Low fat and nonfat milk are an important source of calcium and vitamin D for most children and teens.
- Adults often drink less milk, though they are more likely to use it on cereal, in coffee and in cooking—as well as consume other dairy foods (think cheese, yogurt and more).
Dairy products—including milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese and more—contribute needed calcium, vitamin D and potassium.
- Sound evidence suggests that drinking milk and eating dairy foods is linked to improved bone health in children and teens.
- Consuming milk and dairy foods is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, reduced risk of type-2 diabetes, as well as lower blood pressure in adults.
- Dairy foods can also be a good source of potassium—a nutrient involved in the body’s fluid balance.
Buddies in Bone Health
Calcium and vitamin D work together to build and maintain strong bones and teeth. Check the Nutrition Facts labels on milk and dairy items to be sure you're getting both.
Keep It Low
To keep fat, saturated fat and calories down, choose fat free (nonfat) or low fat versions of dairy foods whenever possible.
Can’t Tolerate Lactose?
No problem. Just substitute calcium-fortified soy milk, or choose fortified yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese or lactose-reduced milk instead of skim milk. That may make it easier to handle if you have lactose intolerance—not having enough of the enzyme lactase to break down lactose (the natural milk sugar) found in high quantities in fat free milk.
Make Dairy Delicious
To get more dairy in your diet, make these delicious, nutritious choices:
Check out plentiful recipes on EatBetterAmerica for more ways to get your dairy up. As always, we continue to develop ideas and tools to help you eat healthier, manage your weight and improve your lifestyle in 2011 and beyond.