Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dairy & all its splendors

Dairy products are such marvels - coming from animals that also provide us with quality protein from their meats, we also get milk to nourish our bodies, bones and overall health. Once again, without going into the modern century contamination and dangers of industrial farming that cause concern for the quality of the products we ingest, overall, dairy products are a great source of natural calcium, vitamin D, potassium and complete protein, just to name a few.

Per the Food Pyramid website, "All fluid milk products and many foods made from milk are considered part of this food group. Foods made from milk that retain their calcium content are part of the group, while foods made from milk that have little to no calcium, such as cream cheese, cream, and butter, are not." Good sources of milk are low fat and fat free milk, yogurt, cheese, and milk-based puddings, ice creams and frozen yogurts. All of which are highly satiating and full of high quality nutrients.

As adults we need approximately 3 cups of milk products per day to obtain the milk-based nutrients our body requires* (more on Food Pyramid requirements versus calories needed at a later time). The RDA for the milk group is easy to meet - milk with your cereal, oatmeal or somehow with your breakfast, yogurt, cottage cheese or string cheese as a snack option, and using milks in either sauces or sides for dinner, or including milk-based products for dessert complete our needs. Flavored milk products such as flavored milks, puddings, ice creams and yogurts are also tasty options, as long as any added fats and sugars fit into your discretionary calorie allowance.

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