Celebrating All Things Dairy
June Dairy Month is an annual celebration to pay tribute to our hardworking, dedicated dairy farm families. This year we are honoring dairy farmers in the Southeast and the dairy foods they produce with the theme, “Get More with Milk.”
Our dairy farmers work hard every day to produce a wholesome, nutritious product that is packed with nine essential nutrients including protein, calcium, vitamin D and potassium, which according to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, are nutrients that both children and adults need more of in their diets. In addition to building strong bones and teeth, this unique combination of nutrients can play a key role in preventing heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.
Even if your clients are lactose intolerant, they can still enjoy all of the nutrient benefits of dairy.
For clients who are lactose intolerant, suggest dairy foods that are lactose-reduced or lactose-free. Lactose-free milk is real cow’s milk, just without the natural milk sugar, lactose, and contains the same great nutrition as milk. Natural cheeses such as Cheddar or Swiss are also a great option because they have little or no lactose. Lastly, encourage your clients to reach for yogurt with live active cultures, which help break down the lactose, aiding in digestion.
Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium and protein and can help boost our body’s protection against illness with probiotics. In fact, a study in Clinical Nutrition noted that the regular consumption of probiotics decrease the common cold by two days and decrease severity of symptoms.i
No matter your clients’ lifestyles, there is a yogurt for them. Whether it is in a tube or bottle, it all provides high-quality protein and calcium. And for clients who are searching for more protein, encourage them to reach for Greek yogurt, which contains double the yogurt as regular yogurt.
Your clients no longer need to feel bad about enjoying cheese. An ounce of hard cheese has as much protein as an egg, is the #2 source of dietary calcium for Americans and averages less than 60 calories and 4 grams of fat per serving. Now, that’s a great nutrition value!
The high-quality protein found in cheese is not just good for muscles, but for teeth as well. The protein, casein, found in aged Cheddar and Swiss may help tooth enamel form a protective shield against acids which cause cavities. No wonder we say “cheese” when we smile!
When paired with fruits, vegetables and whole grains, it may help your clients eat more of these food groups recommended by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In fact, a recent study in the Journal of Child Nutrition & Management indicated that the visible addition of cheese to various middle school menu offerings may help increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains compared with the same items without cheese.ii
“Get More with Milk” this June and all year long by helping your clients to add milk, cheese and yogurt to their meals and snacks.
Visit southeastdairy.org for recipes, healthy eating tips and June Dairy Month facts or follow us on Twitter @theDairyRD.
-Lanier Dabruzzi, MS, RD, LD is the Senior Manager of Public Relations for the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association.
ide Vrese, Michael et al. Effect of Lactobacillus gasseri PA 16/8, Bifidobacterium longum SP 07/3, B. bifidum MF 20/5 on common cold episodes: A double blind, randomized, controlled trial. Clinical Nutrition, Volume 24 , Issue 4 , 481 – 491.
iiDonnelly, Joseph E., et al. The Effects of Visible Cheese on the Selection and Consumption of Food Groups to Encourage in Middle School Students. Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, v34 n1 Spr 2010.