Is in that dairy food?

Dairy is im­por­tant for healthy bones, but most of us aren’t get­ting enough. ’s di­eti­tian Brooke Long­field shows how to get your daily needs.

Healthy Food Guide (Australia) - - SHOPPING -

Nine out of 10 Aussies aren’t eat­ing enough dairy, ac­cord­ing to our lat­est Na­tional Health Sur­vey. Our con­sump­tion of dairy foods ranks al­most as low as ve­g­ies, which are our least-con­sumed food group!

Few other foods con­tain as much cal­cium as dairy, so by not hav­ing enough, we’re more likely to have weaker bones. This in­creases our risk of de­vel­op­ing os­teo­poro­sis and frac­tures.

Get­ting enough cal­cium is easy if we eat three serves of dairy a day (women over 50 years need four serves, but are iron­i­cally con­sum­ing the least dairy of all of us). So, what’s hold­ing us back?

There’s been a shift away from cow’s milk to­wards al­ter­na­tives such as al­mond and co­conut milk, which are dairy free. One in four house­holds now buys plant milks. Many of these milk al­ter­na­tives lack cal­cium, so it’s im­por­tant to check the nu­tri­tion in­for­ma­tion panel on the pack and choose one that is cal­cium-for­ti­fied.

There is also a com­mon be­lief that dairy foods are fat­ten­ing. How­ever, stud­ies show that both re­duced-fat and full-fat va­ri­eties of cheese, milk and yo­ghurt are not linked to weight gain when eaten as part of a bal­anced diet (specif­i­cally, not over­do­ing it). Stud­ies have even found that di­ets with dairy foods can as­sist in weight loss, com­pared to di­ets that ex­clude them.

Most of us need to add at least one more serve of dairy a day to meet our daily re­quire­ments, so what can you do to­day to im­prove your cal­cium in­take?

Vaalia Low Fat Lac­tose Free Pro­bi­otic Yo­ghurt

Pas­sion­fruit (175g)

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