The Importance of Dairy Products

The Importance of Dairy Products

Dairy products are important for building healthy bones and for maintaining a healthy weight. Dairy is also beneficial for your teeth and gums because it can reduce your risk for gum disease.  Does anyone know some vitamins or minerals commonly associated with dairy products?

MyPyramid

All dairy products belong to the Milk Group of MyPyramid.  All milks, yogurts, frozen yogurts, dairy desserts, cheeses (except cream cheese), including lactose-free and lactose-reduced products. Most choices should be fat-free or low-fat. Calcium-fortified soy beverages are an option for those who want a non-dairy calcium source.

What Nutrients are Found in Dairy Products?

We already heard about calcium, but dairy products have many other nutrients other than calcium. They have vitamin D, vitamin A, magnesium, zinc, and protein. All of which are necessary in our daily diet for us to have energy, to grow, and to fight infection.

Calcium

Calcium is important because our bodies use the calcium we get from dairy products to help build our bones, promote blood clotting, make sure our nerves work well, and help to build strong muscles.

What if I am lactose intolerant?

If you are lactose intolerant, this should still not prevent you from having select dairy foods like yogurt and cheese. Alternate forms are available, such   as soy milk and even almond milk. You must make sure that you get enough calcium from other sources such as fruits and vegetables, nuts, and dried beans.

Other Ways to Get Calcium

Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, turnip greens, and broccoli are excellent sources of Calcium.  Use these in addition to dairy products to ensure that you have the recommended daily intake of Calcium. Calcium supplements can also be taken to make sure that individuals get enough calcium every day.

How Much Should I Have?

For adults, the recommended daily allowance of calcium is 1200 milligrams.  For children, 1300 milligrams is recommended. Just remember, one glass of milk has about 300 milligrams of Calcium.

Ways to Reach Your 1200 or 1300 a day!

Let’s look at a day’s food intake to see how we could get enough calcium in a day. Let’s say for breakfast you have one pancake (100 milligrams),  you have 1 glass of milk with it (300 milligrams). You have already had 400 milligrams. If you have a sandwich with cheese for lunch (200 milligrams) and a glass of milk, (300 milligrams) you have had 900 milligrams already. If you then have 1 cup of ice cream (200 milligrams) when you get home from school, and then later 1 string cheese for snack, you have had a Total of 1300 milligrams a day. And that is listing only the

What are the Best Sources  of Calcium?

Recap

  • Dairy products have many nutrients including calcium, protein, and other minerals.

  • Dairy products are the best sources of calcium.

  • If you are lactose intolerant, you can still consume dairy products, and there are vegetable sources that are high in calcium.

  • We should consume about 1300 mg of calcium/day.

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