why do we need dairy in our diet

vitamin D as well as protein and other essential nutrients. They provide phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, B12, and riboflavin. The calcium in, and. build bone mass, leading to improved bone health throughout the life cycle. To meet daily calcium requirements, most people should have two to three cups of milk or servings of dairy foods each day. There are many ways to ensure you are eating healthy and getting enough milk and milk products each day. Start with a healthy breakfast of cereal, milk and fruit or a yogurt parfait, include cheese in your lunch or afternoon snack and consider pudding or hot chocolate
as an evening dessert. To learn more about the amounts of food to eat each day, use the. The calcium in milk is easily absorbed and used in the body, which is why milk and milk products are reliable as well as economical sources of calcium.

A diet rich in and vitamin D contributes to bone health. Due to their high protein, vitamin D, and calcium content, dairy foods are a good choice for maintaining strong bones. A diet rich in fruit, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods, with reduced saturated fat, is as effective as some medications in in people with increased blood pressure. Cultured dairy products like yogurt contain which provide a wide array of health benefits. Probiotics in the diet can enhance the good bacteria in the gut, improve health and reduce the risk of certain diseases. References: 1. U. S. Department of Agriculture. ChooseMyPlate. gov Website. Washington, DC. Dairy. http://www. choosemyplate. gov/food-groups/dairy. html.

Accessed March 9, 2015. 2. Moshfegh A, Goldman J, Ahuja J, Rhodes D, LaComb R. What we eat in America, NHANES 2005-2006: Usual intakes from food and water compared to 1997 Dietary Reference Intakes for vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 3. Gueguen L, Pointillart A. The bioavailability of dietary calcium. J Am Coll Nutr. 2000 Apr;19(2 Suppl):119S-136S. 4. Tolo R, Suarez A, Clemente MG, et al. Intestinal microbiota in health and disease: Role of bifidobacteria in gut homeostasis. World J Gastroenterol. 2014; 20(41):15163-15176. For reliable dietary advice, most nutritionists agree, look to the food pyramid.

But when it comes to advice about milk and dairy, the question is: Which pyramid? The official food pyramid comes from the U. S. Department of Agriculture. It incorporates the recommendations of top ranking scientists from around the country. But other groups, disagreeing with some aspects of the USDAБs recommendations, have constructed alternative pyramids. One of the most influential is the food pyramid created by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health. And one of the big differences between its advice and the USDAБs relates to milk and dairy products. In 2005, the USDAБs dietary guidelines increased the recommended servings of milk from two to three cups a day. The latest guidelines, released in 2010, repeat that advice.

They specifically urge Americans to get more fat-free or low-fat milk and related dairy products. According to HarvardБs food pyramid, on the other hand, milk isnБt an essential part of a healthy diet -- and may pose risks. The USDAБs recommendations are based on the fact that milk is a prime source for three important :, and (which is added to fortified milk. ) БMilk contains a big package of that are especially important to bone health,Б says Connie M. Weaver, PhD, who directs the department at Purdue University. БPeople who donБt drink milk tend to be deficient in them. So it makes good sense to encourage people to consume dairy products. Б Milk is also a good source of potassium -- another compelling reason the USDA committee increased the recommended servings from two to three in 2005, according to Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD, professor of nutrition at Pennsylvania State University, who served on the committee.

Too much sodium and too little potassium together are risk factors for. Unfortunately, most Americans get too much salt and donБt get enough potassium. Milk isnБt the only source, to be sure. Many vegetables and fruits are also rich in potassium. But according to Kris-Etherton, experts hesitated to increase the recommended servings of vegetables, which were already more than most Americans were eating. БShort of encouraging people to eat more vegetables, we thought the best way to ensure adequate potassium was to recommend low-fat milk,Б she tells WebMD.