Dairy foods are an essential source of nutrients for growing children as well as adults. You can incorporate milk and dairy foods into a healthy eating pattern for a healthy and well-balanced diet. For example- a healthy breakfast of cereal, milk, and fruit or Include cheese in a salad or sandwich at lunch. The goal should be to eat some low-fat dairy each day, whether from skim milk, low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, or a combination of these.
Dairy foods are excellent sources of protein, calcium, and vitamins. Hence, beneficial for people of all ages and groups, including adults, seniors, and athletes. Dairy products have essential vitamins and minerals and carbohydrates, protein, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamins A, D, B12, and more. Do you know that one 8-ounce serving of milk has 8 grams of protein? However, different dairy foods have different amounts of protein per serving because of the processing steps used to make each product.
A National Diet and Nutrition Survey state that 19% of girls between the age of 11- 18 years have deficient calcium intakes. Therefore, it is recommended to take daily portions of milk and dairy foods to meet calcium needs.
Dairy recommendations for Infants and young children include:
½ glass of whole milk for children aged 12 months +
100g pot of plain whole-fat yogurt for children of 6 months +
15g of hard cheese- small cubes (from 6 months)
Keep in mind that it is the general recommendation for healthy people with no allergy to dairy products. Some people might become ill and discomfort if they are allergic to dairy products.
Health Benefits of Dairy Products
Dairy products have several health benefits and help you lead a healthy life. Here are some of the critical benefits of dairy products:
1. Bone Health
Today, an increasing number of people are at risk of developing osteoporosis( a disease in which the body starts losing too much bone). Women are four times more vulnerable to osteoporosis, and older men are also susceptible. Studies show the protein and calcium in milk play a critical role in bone health and density, thereby decreasing the risk for osteoporosis. Additionally, getting calcium from food rather than supplements can help you increase the density of bone.
2. Blood Pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure increases the chance of heart disease and attack. The risk factor for high blood pressure includes obesity, alcohol consumption, smoking, and family history. Dairy products have essential blood pressure-lowering nutrients like calcium, potassium, magnesium, and a particular protein called bioactive peptides, which positively help blood pressure control.
Dairy food contains calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which play an essential role in maintaining healthy blood pressure. Potassium found in dairy products, in particular, regulates fluids and minerals in the body to maintain healthy blood pressure.
3. A Powerhouse of Nutrients
Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt provide packages of essential nutrients like calcium, vitamins A, D, B12, riboflavin, potassium, phosphorus, protein, and niacin.
4. Good Source of Protein
Protein- is one of those essential nutrients that our body needs in large amounts. Protein foods keep us full for longer, repair muscles and tissues as we get older. Protein also fuels your energy and carries oxygen throughout your body in your blood. Consuming low-fat milk and cheese are the best sources of protein.
5. Cost-Effective and Convenient
As compared to many other protein-containing foods, cheese and yogurt are affordable and portable protein snacks. You can pack these dairy snacks in lunches for a quick and healthy meal.
6. Dental Health
Do you know healthy nutrition and eating habits help keep your teeth healthy? Dairy foods contain a unique combination of anti-decay nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, and the protein, casein. All these nutrients help you maintain good oral health.
Milk, in particular, is linked to a reduced risk of cavities, and hard cheese is linked to decreased risk of dental cavities and tooth erosion. The Australian Dental Association suggests eating a small piece of cheese after eating sugary food to prevent gums and reduce the risk of tooth decay.
Apart from the above-listed ones, dairy products have several other health benefits. If we talk about the overall health benefits of consuming dairy, a limited amount of dairy intake can be beneficial. Means, adding some dairy to your daily diet can help you get some of the vital nutrients you need.
Keep in mind that you can't depend totally on dairy; you need to take a properly balanced diet that contains vegetables, fruits, and health to fulfill the daily intake of vitamins and nutrients. Dairy products can only support your health and can't be a complete replacement for your balanced diet. However, we recommend stopping taking dairy items once you notice an allergy or problem in your body after consuming dairy products.
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