In recent years you have no doubt heard more about the benefits
of including milk and other dairy products in the foods and
beverages you regularly have.
Dairy products are a great source of:
How would you answer the question “What kind of milk do you
use?” How could something as common as milk be so misunderstood?
When dietitians ask you what milk you use, they are generally
wondering what the fat content is or if you require a lactose
reduced milk, soy milk or other such products regularly sold.
Protein – There is more protein in just 8 ounces (1 cup) of
milk than an ounce of meat. Protein is needed for growth and
repair of your muscles and other tissues. It also helps in your
fight against infection and disease.
- Calcium – Dairy products account for the largest source of
calcium in the typical American food intake. Calcium helps
prevent bone disease like osteoporosis and helps keep teeth
strong. If you have three cups or the equivalent of milk
products daily, you can improve your bone mass.
- Potassium – Milk products, especially fluid milk and yogurt
provide potassium, which may help to maintain a healthy blood
- Vitamin D – Most dairy products are fortified with vitamin
D, which helps to build and maintain strong bones and keeps them
- Vitamin A – Milk that is fortified with vitamin A can help
keep your eyes and skin healthy.
What Kind of Milk is Best?
The fat in milk is what we make butter from. It is saturated
fat, the unhealthiest kind of fat. One glass of whole milk has
as much saturated fat as 5 slices of bacon. Reducing saturated
fat intake can decrease cardiovascular risks. Reducing fat in
your foods and beverages can also help you maintain a healthy
weight. That means if you are over 2 years of age, you should
“Moove Over to Low Fat or Fat Free Milk”.
|This answer depends on how old you are. Unless your physician
has instructed you differently:
- Breast milk is best for baby’s first year at least.
- Whole milk should be used from age 1 year to 2 years.
- Using 1% low fat or fat free (skim) is recommended for adults
and children age 2 years and older.
How Can I Make the Change?
If you want to make the change to low fat or fat free milk and
need help making the switch, here is a strategy to try:
Start by mixing whole milk with 2% reduced fat milk for
WIC will only be offering low fat or fat free milk to adults and
children over 2 years starting October 1, 2009.
- Next, drink all 2% reduced fat milk.
- Then, mix 1% low fat milk with the 2% reduced fat milk for
- Drink all 1% low fat milk.
- Finally, moove to fat free milk.
How Much Do I Need Daily?
What if I Don’t Like Milk?
- Children 1 to 3 years need about 2 cups daily.
- Children 4 to 8 years need about 2 to 3 cups daily.
- Adults and children 9 years and older need 3 cups daily.
- Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers need 3 to 4 cups daily.
If you don’t include milk as a daily beverage, try some of these
fun ways to include it:
What if I Don’t Tolerate Milk?
- Whip up some pudding, custard or flan.
- Cook soups, rice and hot cereal with milk instead of water.
- Add it to mashed potatoes.
- Make quick breads, muffins, pancakes, or French toast.
- Blend it with chopped fresh fruit and low fat yogurt for a
smoothie, or low fat frozen yogurt for a milkshake.
If you have an allergy to milk, your physician may give you
instructions or send you to a Registered/Licensed Dietitian to
help you get adequate nutrition and avoid all sources of milk
protein. If you have trouble digesting lactose (milk sugar),
giving you bloating, gas or diarrhea there are strategies you
can use to still enjoy dairy products. Here are some of them:
More Fun Ideas:
- Drink milk with other food, not on an empty stomach and limit
- Try yogurt or cheese.
- Drink lactose-free or lactose-reduced milk.
- Drink milk or eat milk products after taking lactase enzyme
pills or drops.