Milk is one of the most nutrient-dense food sources.
Although summer is a great time to recognize and celebrate dairy foods, the goodness of milk and milk products can be appreciated year-round. Here are the reasons to include milk and other dairy foods in your diet throughout the year.
Taste – Let’s face it – dairy foods are delicious! Many of us enjoy the taste of milk including flavored milks such as chocolate, tangy yogurts, mellow to sharp cheeses, and countless flavors of ice cream. In addition to traditional flavors (e.g., vanilla, chocolate, strawberry), dairy products such as yogurts and ice creams with bold, savory, seasonal, and unique new flavors are grabbing consumers’ interest. Taste is the number one factor determining consumers’ food choices.
Nutrition – Dairy foods are nutritional powerhouse. With nine essential nutrients including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, high-quality protein, vitamins A, D, and B12, riboflavin, and niacin (niacin equivalents), milk, cheese, and yogurt together pack a powerful nutrient punch. Milk is the #1 dietary source of calcium, potassium, and vitamin D.
Health Benefits – Dairy foods have multiple health benefits. Milk and milk products (cheese, paneer, and yogurt) are associated with improved bone health, especially in children and adolescents, and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and lower blood pressure in adults, according to the 2010 DGA. Most recently, the scientific report issued by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory acknowledges dairy’s health benefits including lower risks of diabetes, metabolic syndrome (a cluster of conditions that can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes), cardiovascular disease, and obesity.
Sustainability – The dairy industry, is committed to food sustainability. This means providing consumers with the nutritious dairy products that positively affect our communities economically, environmentally, and socially now and for future generations. For example, dairy farmers strive every day to conserve and optimally manage natural resources such as land, air, and water for future generations.
Affordable – Dairy foods are one of the most affordable sources of nutrition in the grocery store. Milk is an economical source of nutrients, especially calcium, potassium, and vitamin D, which are low in most people’s diets.
Safe – Pasteurized milk and milk products are among the safest and highest quality foods, because of the strict food safety controls and vigilance at every stage of dairy production, processing, and distribution – from farm to table.
Variety – The dairy case has something for everyone – Slim ( 0% fat) milk, Cow milk, Power milk, Malia milk, Natural milk, as well as Ghee, Paneer, Yogurt, khowa, buttermilk, etc.
Versatile – Dairy foods can be consumed at meals and snacks throughout the day, paired with other foods (e.g., cheese and vegetable kebabs, yogurt and fruit smoothies, etc.), and used as ingredients in a countless number of recipes and thus it highlights the dairy’s unique concentration of nutrients and versatility in the kitchen.