Thursday, January 12, 2012

#3 of 12 Foods to Eat More of in 2012

3. Milk

That's right--two dairy products made the list! You might be asking yourself, is dairy that important? Absolutely. Most Americans don't get the recommended three servings of dairy every day and are lacking in calcium and vitamin D. In fact, calcium and vitamin D were identified as nutrients of concern when the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released last year. Dairy products are unique because they are some of the only foods (or drinks) that supply these very important nutrients! We need three servings of dairy daily, so consider this is an easy one. Have a glass of milk with breakfast, a yogurt mid-day (#2 of the 12 foods) and another glass of milk with dinner or for a bedtime snack. Done.

Skim milk is preferable (versus 1%, 2% and whole milk) because it has no fat and only about 90 calories per cup. It supplies just as much calcium and vitamin D as the higher-fat versions. If you're not used to drinking skim milk, make the adjustment in baby steps by gradually working your way down. If you can't tolerate dairy products, have lactose intolerance or follow a vegan diet, no worries. Try soy milk, almond milk or rice milk--just make sure they are fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

The list of benefits is long, and includes: weight management, bone health, feeling better, cancer and diabetes prevention, and more. Read more about vitamin D here.

Wear your milk mustache loud and proud!

Photo Credit: Man Pouring Milk by Ambro