Milk and dairy foods are highly nutritious foods. They contain a unique “package of nutrients” that are an essential part of a healthy eating plan. Milk is not easily replaceable with other foods; the substitutes are not the same.
Research continues to identify positive ways that milk impacts health. In addition to dairy building healthy bones, consuming milk, cheese and yogurt can boost immunity, lower blood pressure, reduce risk of diabetes, reduce risk for some cancers and help maintain your weight. Milk is an excellent source of high-quality protein, which is important throughout life and specifically for athletes and the elderly.
The following pages describe the nutrient content and health benefits of milk, cheese and yogurt:
In addition to these health benefits, milk and dairy foods taste good, are convenient, are affordable and—most importantly—provide three of the four nutrients that are often deficient in Americans’ diets: calcium, vitamin D and potassium. For that reason, the USDA recommends that adults consume three servings per day.
Pouring a glass of milk with meals, adding cheese to salads and sandwiches, and snacking on yogurt are easy ways to satisfy these recommendations and create healthy eating habits for the whole family.