Elizabeth S. Reames | 5/27/2005 1:34:37 AM
LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames says to observe June Dairy Month by consuming the recommended servings of non-fat and low-fat milk and milk products.
The new Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends an increase to three daily servings of non-fat and low-fat milk and milk products.
Reames says dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt contain nine essential nutrients that can help manage your weight, reduce your risk for high blood pressure, osteoporosis and certain cancers.
The LSU AgCenter nutritionist says an 8-ounce serving of milk provides the following nutrients and puts you well on your way to meeting the Daily Value (recommended intake for those on a 2,000 calorie diet):
Calcium. An 8-ounce serving of milk provides 30 percent of the Daily Value of calcium. Calcium helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth. This mineral also plays an important role in nerve function, muscle contraction and blood clotting.
Vitamin D. When fortified, a glass of milk provides about 25 percent of the Daily Value for vitamin D. This nutrient helps promote the absorption of calcium and enhances bone mineralization. Milk is one of the few dietary sources of this important vitamin.
Protein. The protein in milk is high quality, which means it contains all of the essential amino acids or "building blocks" of protein. Protein builds and repairs muscle tissue and serves as a source of energy during high-powered endurance exercise. An 8-ounce glass of milk provides about 16 percent of the Daily Value for protein.
Potassium. This nutrient regulates the body’s fluid balance and helps maintain normal blood pressure. It’s also needed for muscle activity and contraction. By providing 11 percent of the Daily Value of potassium, milk contains more than the leading sports drink.
Vitamin A. A glass of milk provides 10 percent of the Daily Value of vitamin A. This nutrient helps maintain normal vision and skin. It also helps regulate cell growth and maintains the integrity of the immune system.
Vitamin B12. This vitamin helps build red blood cells that carry oxygen from the lungs to working muscles. Just one 8-ounce glass of milk provides about 13 percent of the Daily Value for this vitamin.
Riboflavin. Milk provides 24 percent of the Daily Value of riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2. This vitamin helps convert food into energy – a process crucial for exercising muscles.
Niacin. This nutrient is important for the normal function of many enzymes in the body and is involved in the metabolism of sugars and fatty acids. A glass of milk contains 10 percent of the Daily Value for niacin.
Phosphorus. This nutrient helps strengthen bones and generates energy in your body's cells. Milk provides 20 percent of the Daily Value for phosphorus.
To help you include more milk and dairy foods in your diet, Reames suggests trying one of the new flavored milk drinks, topping your favorite vegetable or baked potato with low-fat shredded cheese, mixing low-fat or fat-free yogurt, fruit and low-fat granola for a crunchy treat, choosing cereal, milk and fruit as a snack as well as breakfast and cooking oatmeal in milk instead of water.
For information on related family and consumer topics, link to the FCS Web site from the LSU AgCenter homepage, at www.lsuagcenter.com. For local information and educational programs, contact an extension agent in your parish LSU AgCenter office.