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House Call: Vary Your Dairy Routine

In Part V of our Nutrition Month series, Olivia Kinkade, a member of the clinical nutrition department at UHC, joins us to talk about focusing on varying your dairy routine.
Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 5:53 PM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - Welcome back to UHC’s House Call on WDTV. In Part V of our Nutrition Month series, Olivia Kinkade, a member of the clinical nutrition department at UHC, joins us to talk about focusing on varying your dairy routine.

1. How much food from the Dairy Group is needed daily?

The amount of dairy you need depends on your age, sex, height, weight, and level of physical activity. For women, the amount can also depend on whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding. About 90% of Americans do not get enough dairy, therefore most individuals would benefit by increasing intake of fat-free or low-fat dairy, whether from milk (including lactose-free milk), yogurt, and cheese, or from fortified soy milk or yogurt.

2. Why is it important to eat/drink dairy?

Consuming dairy products provides health benefits — especially building and maintaining strong bones. Foods in the Dairy Group provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. These nutrients include calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein.

Dairy Nutrients:

  • The Dairy Group provides many nutrients including calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin D (in products fortified with vitamin D), riboflavin, vitamin B12, protein, potassium, zin, choline, magnesium, and selenium.
  • Calcium is used for building bones and teeth and in maintaining bone strength as you grow older. Dairy products are the main source of calcium in American diets.
  • Many people do not get enough potassium. Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Dairy products, especially dairy milk and yougurt, and fortified soy milk, provide potassium.
  • Vitamin D functions in the body to maintain proper levels of calcium and phsphorous, thereby helping to build and maintain bones. Milk and soy milk that are fortified with vitamin D are good sources of this nutrient. Other sources include some fish such as salmon, and other foods fortified with vitamin D.
  • Milk products that are consumed in their low-fat or fat-free forms provide very little saturated fat.

3. What counts as a cup in the Dairy Group?

In general, 1 cup of milk, yogurt, or soy milk, or 1 ½ ounces of natural cheese can be considered as 1 cup from the Dairy Group. The table in this video provides specific amounts that count as 1 cup in the Dairy Group toward your daily recommended intake.

Daily Dairy Intake chart
Daily Dairy Intake chart(myplate.gov)

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