By Taylor Sutton, MS, RD
United Supermarkets’ Lifestyle Desk
Dairy is one of the five main food groups among protein, grains, fruits, and vegetables. There are a variety of dairy sources and plenty of ways to fit dairy into a healthful diet! Not only is dairy versatile, but it offers many health benefits as well. Some of the benefits of dairy are:
- Nutrient-rich in protein, calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin A, phosphorous, pantothenic acid, and niacin.
- Improved bone and teeth health.
- Cultured sources like yogurts and some cheeses provide probiotics to support gut health.
- Weight maintenance.
- May help maintain blood pressure due to calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
- Potassium helps regulate fluid balance which plays a role in stroke prevention.
Categories of dairy include milk, cheese, and yogurt. Serving sizes are something to note here in that 1.5 ounces of hard cheese, 1/3 cup shredded cheese, 1 cup cottage cheese, 1 cup milk (Whole, 2%, 1%, skim milk), and 8 oz dairy-based yogurt are considered 1 serving. In order to be classified in the dairy food group, calcium content is crucial; therefore, foods made from milk that lack adequate amounts of calcium are not considered dairy – for example, cream, butter, cream cheese, etc. The current recommendations of dairy products are:
- 1-year-olds: 16-24 ounces whole milk, yogurt, cheese per day.
- 2 years and older: 2-3 cups of low-fat or non-fat dairy per day.
A popular question we are often asked is, “is flavored milk a good option?” Flavored milk is acceptable, especially if it is the only accepted way to drink milk by that child or adult. We want our guests to look at their diet as a whole. If there are multiple sources of added sugars in addition to chocolate milk we suggest dialing back in other areas and staying mindful of portion size.
It also is important to note what brand you are buying. Something like an ultrafiltered milk would be beneficial to help with overall sugar intake. To spotlight chocolate milk, it is an excellent post-workout drink for all ages! Not only is it delicious, but it provides protein to repair muscles, sugar to replenish energy stores, and provides electrolytes to retain fluid and stay hydrated! So again, look at the diet as a whole rather than targeting specific products or nutrients.
Lemon Raspberry Smoothie
What You Need
1 chobani Greek raspberry yogurt
1 chobani Greek lemon yogurt
1, 6oz pkg Raspberries
1/2 c. ultra filtered milk
How It’s Made
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth!