Here’s why you should milk it daily

Dairy is es­sen­tial for the hu­man body

Central and North Burnett Times - - EASY EATING - Vani Naidoo

DAIRY prod­ucts are the main source of cal­cium for most Aus­tralians. Cal­cium, of course, is es­sen­tial for bone health but foods from the dairy group also pro­vide other nu­tri­ents vi­tal for the func­tion­ing and main­te­nance of the hu­man body like potas­sium, vi­ta­min D and protein. Most chil­dren in this coun­try do not get their rec­om­mended dairy serv­ings each day. Ex­pos­ing your child to milk, cheese and yo­gurt from a young age will help them de­velop a love for its taste and tex­ture. For those who can eat dairy, the Di­etary Guide­lines for Aus­tralians rec­om­mends two to three serves each day, with a serve be­ing 250ml of low-fat milk, two cheese slices, 200g of yo­gurt, or 250ml of cus­tard. Soft cheeses such as cot­tage cheese and ri­cotta should not be counted as a serve as they are rel­a­tively low in cal­cium. It is also rec­om­mended adults and chil­dren above two years of age should choose re­duced-fat dairy prod­ucts (re­duced fat and skim milks should not be of­fered to chil­dren un­der two years, as chil­dren need the fat and vi­ta­min A in full-fat dairy prod­ucts for en­ergy, de­vel­op­ment and growth). Re­search has in­di­cated hard cheese has been linked to de­creased risk of den­tal cav­i­ties and ero­sion, and milk has also been linked to de­creased risk of cav­i­ties, mak­ing it a good drink choice be­tween meals. Ac­cord­ing to the Aus­tralian Di­etary Guide­lines, con­sump­tion of milk, cheese and yo­gurt is linked to a re­duced risk of heart dis­ease, stroke, hy­per­ten­sion, type 2 di­a­betes, meta­bolic syn­drome and col­orec­tal cancer – some of the main causes of death in Aus­tralia. Dairy con­sump­tion is also as­so­ci­ated with a healthy weight and has been shown to play an im­por­tant role in sport and exer-

cise per­for­mance.

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