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Discover the Health Benefits of Dairy

Posted on January 6, 2020



Discover the Health Benefits of Dairy



Dairy plays a large role in a healthy diet. Milk and other dairy products are ideal sources of protein, vitamins, and calcium for people of all ages. The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommends three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy foods daily for those 9 years and older, 2½ cups for those 4–8 years old, and 2 cups for those 2–3 years old.

A single 8-ounce serving of milk has 8 grams of protein, which helps build and repair muscle tissue. Compare that to an equal serving of an almond beverage, which has only 1 gram of protein. One serving of milk also meets the daily values for the following nutrients (based on Food and Drug Administration guidelines):
  • Calcium (25 percent): Helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth
  • Riboflavin (35 percent): Supports body growth, red blood cell production, and metabolism
  • Phosphorus (20 percent): Strengthens bones
  • Vitamin D (15 percent): Helps promote the absorption of calcium
  • Pantothenic Acid (20 percent): Helps convert food into energy
  • Potassium (8 percent): Regulates fluid balance and helps maintain normal blood pressure
  • Vitamin A (15 percent): Promotes good vision and healthy skin
  • Niacin (10 percent): Promotes proper circulation

Studies show that a diet rich in milk and dairy products is linked to increased bone health and a reduced risk of osteoporosis. Adequate milk intake is especially essential during childhood, as bone mass is still being built. Studies also show that consuming three daily servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy foods is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, lowered blood pressure, and a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease in adults.