Monday, April 7, 2014

All About Dairy

Dairy is a very important food group that needs to be consume each day.  The average person needs 3-4 servings a day.  Growing children need 4-5 servings a day. One serving = 1 cup of milk or milk substitute or 3/4 cup of yogurt.

Benefits of Dairy
  • proper bone growth in childhood years
  • provides a good source of protein (there is more protein in one serving of dairy than in meat)
  • it contains a variety of vitamins and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, Vitamin D,  riboflavin, Vitamin B12, niacin, and of course calcium!
  • it is considered the perfect food because it contains a little bit of everything.
  • bone maintenance in  adult years
  • prevention of osteoporosis and osteomalacia
  • muscle function
  • nerve function
  • hormone function
  • used in some of our bodies enzymes
  • helps with blood pressure
  • lowers your risk of heart disease and diabetes
  • aids in weight loss

Sources of Dairy: milk (skim or low-fat), yogurt, cheese, goats milk

Dairy Alternatives: soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, leafy green vegetables, broccoli,fortified foods such as fortified orange juice and cereals

Watch out for!
  •  High fat and sweetened desserts such as ice cream.  These should be eaten only on occasion,  not everyday.
  • Cheese can be a big culprate in weight gain due to its high fat content.  Choose cheese from part skim or reduced fat options.  Always read the food label!
  • Milk with added hormones and chemicals.  If possible try to purchase milk from a credible source.  Organic milk or milk from the farmers market are great options.
  • Coconut milk is not a good dairy alternative due to its large fat content and lack of calcium.
  • If using milk substitutes try soy and almond milk first.  If you do not like the flavor try other brands until you find one you like.  Rice milk is for those individuals who are allergic to milk, nuts, and soy; and should not be used by others if possible because it spikes your blood sugar much higher than all other dairy sources.

Check out my latest video-- All About Dairy!