Dairy products can be part of a nutrient dense snack or meal. Milk is a high quality and complete protein source, rich in calcium, potassium, Vitamin D, riboflavin, and Vitamin B12. Not only is dairy delicious, it provides many health benefits. Milk and dairy products may be a factor in decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Dairy also may support bone health. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that individuals increase their intake of low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese and to strive for a goal of three servings each day. Current research suggests that even full fat dairy does not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease so all types of dairy can be included as part of a healthy diet.
There has been an increase in non-dairy milk alternates inundating the milk coolers. While this is wonderful for those who have intolerances or allergies, the alternates are significantly lower in protein and may have added sugars, salt, and syrups as well as other ingredients. Cow’s milk only has three ingredients, milk, Vitamin A, and Vitamin D.
The chart below provides a quick comparison on Calories, protein, fat, and added sugar.
If you like almond and coconut milk but want extra protein, consider adding a half scoop of whey protein (approximately 10g of protein). Whey protein is a complete protein found naturally in milk. Whey protein usually can be consumed by those who are lactose intolerant. Making a coffee drink with almond milk, a scoop of whey protein, and ice can be very refreshing!
Dairy can be incorporated into breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks to meet the dietary guideline recommendations. For breakfast try a fruit smoothie prepared with yogurt and milk or a fruit and yogurt parfait. For lunch or dinner try a black bean and cheese quesadilla or broccoli soup prepared with cheese and milk. There are many options to choose from!
For a refreshing snack, try this delicious and refreshing frosty from the Mid-West Dairy website. It has 7g of protein in each serving; the Strawberry Ricotta snack has 6g of protein per serving.
Remember to enjoy a variety of foods and savor their flavor! It is important to satisfy your taste buds as well as fuel your body.
Blog provided by: Alison St. Germain MS, RD, LD