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Milk Packs a Nutritional Punch

MyPlate Dairy Food Group Poster from Learning ZoneXpressJune is National Dairy Month. In this blog, I wanted to review the benefits of including dairy in one’s diet and illustrate how milk packs a nutritional punch. Consuming adequate dairy each day helps one to maintain bone health, manage his/her weight and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Bone Health
According to a recent U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on bone, calcium is critically important to bone health. Protein and Vitamin D are also needed in addition to calcium to assist in bone growth. Cow’s milk is rich in these three nutrients.

Weight Management
Recent studies have indicated that consuming high amount of dairy foods is associated with a decreased risk of metabolic syndrome, hypertension and colon and other cancers. The amino acids found in dairy protein are essential and necessary for protein replacement in the body. When someone is trying to lose weight, these amino acids found in dairy help one to preserve lean muscle tissue and force the weight lost to be mostly from fat tissue.

Cardiovascular Disease
In the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) trial, dairy’s role in regulating blood pressure was emphasized. The DASH diet included a plan for participants to consume foods high in potassium, calcium, magnesium and protein. Dairy played a strong role in the DASH plan, where participants needed to consume three servings of lowfat dairy products daily. This consumption resulted in a reduction of systolic and diastolic blood pressures.

Milk Packs a Nutritional Punch
Milk has a diverse nutrient panel, which includes calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, Vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin and magnesium. Check out how much you would need to consume of various foods to equal the amount of each nutrient found in three cups of fat-free milk.

• Calcium (90% DV) ►30 cups of raw spinach
• Potassium (33% DV)► 3 small bananas
• Phosphorus (74% DV)►3 ¼ cups canned kidney beans
• Protein (50% DV)► ½ chicken breast
• Vitamin A (30% DV)►6 large boiled eggs
• Vitamin D (86% DV) ► 1.5 ounces canned salmon (with bone)
• Vitamin B12 (61% DV)►4.5 ounces canned tuna
• Riboflavin (79% DV) ►1 cup whole almonds
• Magnesium (20%DV) ► ¼ cup cooked soybeans

Wow! Milk does pack a nutritional wallop. Celebrate Dairy Month with a tall cold glass of milk. Cheers!

2 thoughts on “Milk Packs a Nutritional Punch”

  • Melanie Nelson


    Thanks for a great article on milk. With all of the debate on sugary drinks lately it's nice to get a reminder that there are healthy options out there that are good tasting. I appreciate the way you've compared the nutritional value of milk with various other food options. You'd have to be pretty hungry to get the same nutrients on a plate!

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