Five Things to Know about Dairy

May 20, 2019

Since 1937, when it started out as June Milk Month, Dairy Month, as it is now known, is a chance to celebrate dairy farmers and dairy foods for all they do for people, animals, and the planet


Here are five “need to know” things about dairy:

Dairy Delivers. Milk delivers nine essential nutrients. “Essential nutrients” are those that the body can’t make, so we must get them through our food and beverages.  These essentials overall include vitamins, minerals, some amino acids and some fatty acids.  Milk’s nine essentials are protein, calcium, phosphorous, vitamin B12, riboflavin (B2), pantothenic acid (B5), vitamin A, vitamin D, and niacin (B3).

Adds a bonus to baking. If you’ve never thought about why milk is an important ingredient in some of your favorite baked good recipes, here is some food for thought. Milk adds moisture, and its unique makeup also helps provide structure, taste, and eye appeal. That golden-brown crust? That mild sweetness and yummy texture? Yes, milk plays a role in all of these things. It also adds the nine essential nutrients mentioned above to whatever you add it to. Talk about a win-win-win (taste-nutrition-appeal).

It pairs well with the other food groups, so meal planning is a snap. Milk, cheese, and yogurt fit nicely into meals all year. An easy way to keep things interesting (and balanced!) is to serve it up with your favorite seasonal fruits and veggies.  Some summer-y examples: Yogurt with strawberries for breakfast. Cheese with veggies for a snack. Sliced peaches with ice cream at dessert.

Regarding lactose intolerance. If you are having digestive symptoms of any kind, it’s best to see a doctor and get the diagnosis correct so you know what you need to do for your health. If you do indeed have lactose intolerance, did you know there are several dairy foods that have little to no lactose? Yes. From lactose free products to natural aged cheeses like cheddar, swiss, and mozzarella (and more), get to know your options so you can confidently enjoy the choices that are right for you. Talk with your doctor and dietitian to learn more.

Yum. Isn’t it great when foods and beverages that taste good are good for you, too? The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest three servings of dairy a day for people ages 9 and up.


How will you do your dairy today?

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