Eat More Dairy
New federal dietary guidelines call for Americans to increase their consumption of low-fat and fat-free dairy foods.
Federal guidelines recommend more low-fat and fat-free dairy products for U.S. consumers.
The new 2010
Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) encourages 3 daily servings of low-fat
or fat-free milk and milk products for adults and children 9 years and older.
For children ages 4 to 8, the recommendation was increased from 2 to 2.5
servings, and for children ages 2 to 3, the recommendation remains 2 servings.
Most Americans fail to meet these recommendations, even though they have been
previously established by the DGA and supported by independent health
emphasizes the importance of establishing good milk drinking habits at a young
age, as those who consume milk at an early age are more likely to do so as
Today, the U.S.
dairy industry joins the federal government in urging most Americans to add one
more serving of low-fat and fat-free dairy each day as they strive for
healthier lifestyles that reflect DGA recommendations. According to the DGA,
current evidence shows intake of milk and milk products is linked to improved
bone health, especially in children and adolescents. In addition, intake of
milk and milk products is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular
disease, type 2 diabetes and lower blood pressure in adults.
The dairy food group
(milk, cheese and yogurt) is a substantial contributor of many nutrients in the
U.S. diet that are important for good health, including calcium, potassium,
phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, protein, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and
riboflavin. And milk is the No. 1 food source of three of the four nutrients
the DGA identified as lacking in the American diet – calcium, vitamin D and
The new DGA
includes a variety of dietary patterns that support a healthy lifestyle, and
dairy foods fit for most everyone. For those who are sensitive to lactose, the
DGA recommends low-lactose and lactose-free milk products. For those who follow
vegetarian diets, the DGA recommends milk and other dairy foods because they
supply essential nutrients that can be hard to get from other foods.
serving is equal to an 8-ounce glass of white or flavored milk, an 8-ounce cup
of yogurt, 1 1/2 ounces of natural cheese or 2 ounces of processed cheese. The
DGA emphasizes choosing lower fat options, and there are many affordable and
appealing products in the marketplace. The dairy industry is working with
farmers, dairy foods companies and consumers to develop an even wider array of
products – including cheeses with lower sodium and fat levels and flavored milk
with less added sugar – that can help Americans meet the 2010 DGA
recommendations without compromising on taste.
information on the role of dairy foods in lifelong health, visit the website of
the National Dairy Council.