June is National Dairy Month! Did you know that consuming dairy is a great way to improve your nutritional status? It's full of vitamins and minerals that are needed in a healthy diet, so make sure that you are consuming 2-3 servings of dairy daily! Milk also contains all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Some of the essential vitamins and minerals found in dairy include:
Calcium & vitamin D — great for bone health
Potassium — for blood pressure control
Magnesium — important for heart health
Riboflavin — aids in energy production
Vitamin B12 — key player in red blood cell production
Fun Facts About Dairy:
About 25% of Americans have lost some or all of their ability to produce lactase, an enzyme that breaks down the lactose in dairy products (Harvard Health). Symptoms can include pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea after consuming dairy. Fermented dairy products are often better tolerated due to the decreased amount of lactose in the product. Lactaid and Darigold Fit are great lactose free milks.
A serving of dairy is 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of yogurt, or 1-2 ounces of cheese.
Choose unsweetened milk most of the time. Are you dairy-free? Make sure your milk alternative is low in added sugar and fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Look for Dietitians Choice tags!
Choose low-sugar yogurts. Look for Dietitians Choice tags!
Cheese is delicious but can be high in sodium and saturated fat, so keep portions in check. A reasonable serving is 1-2 ounces.