At Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating we know the importance of dairy, which is why we incorporate 2 to 3 servings of dairy everyday with our meal plans. We are grateful to Monica Nyman MS, RD, LDN, Senior Nutrition Educator from the St. Louis Dairy Council for her guidance and expertise in everything dairy. We thought it would be great for Monica to write a guest blog to answer all of the frequently asked questions about dairy that we get here at Seattle Sutton's. Thank you Monica for sharing your knowledge with us!
The Power of Dairy: A Nutritional Boost for a Healthy You
When it comes to building a strong foundation for a healthy lifestyle, few things are as essential as a balanced diet. As a registered dietitian with the St. Louis District Dairy Council, I am here to unpack the many benefits of dairy, address common concerns, and offer easy ways to incorporate this nutritional powerhouse into your daily routine.
Safety First: Your Well-Being Matters Let's start by addressing an important concern: the safety of dairy products. It is natural to wonder about the safety of the food we consume, and the dairy industry takes this concern seriously. Stringent quality controls and regulations are in place every step of the way – from the farm to your table. These measures ensure that dairy products are not only safe but also of high quality, providing you with the nutrients your body needs.
Dispelling Hormone Myths Hormones in dairy – a topic that often stirs questions. Let me clarify: all living organisms produce hormones, including cows. However, the use of growth hormones in milk production is tightly regulated. Any natural occurring trace amounts that remain after pasteurization are broken down into inactive proteins by enzymes in the intestinal track, just like any other dietary protein.
Nutritional Goodness in Every Serving Now, we will explore the abundant nutritional benefits that dairy brings to the table. Calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth, is abundant in dairy. However, that is not all – dairy is a potent source of protein, contributing to muscle growth, repair, and overall body function. Vitamins like vitamin D, which helps our bodies use calcium effectively, and B vitamins that keep our energy levels up are also found in dairy. In all, dairy provides a balanced package of nutrients (13 essential nutrients!) that contribute to our overall health and vitality.
Simple Ways to Enjoy Dairy Incorporating the goodness of dairy into your daily routine is both effortless and delicious. With a variety of options to choose from, you can easily enjoy the nutritional benefits of dairy throughout the day. Here are some servings and ideas to help you get started:
- 8 oz Milk: A glass of milk is a classic way to include dairy in your diet. Whether you prefer it cold or warmed up, a serving of milk is a quick and satisfying source of calcium, vitamin D, and protein. Pair it with whole-grain cereal for a balanced breakfast or enjoy it as a refreshing drink any time of day.
- 1 Container of Fat-Free/Low-Fat Yogurt: Yogurt is not only creamy and delightful but also packed with probiotics that support gut health. Grab a container of fat-free or low-fat yogurt for a convenient snack on the go. Mix in some fresh berries and a sprinkle of granola for added flavor and texture.
- 1 String Cheese: String cheese is a fun and portable way to enjoy dairy. Perfect for snacking, it provides a protein boost that keeps you feeling satisfied between meals. Pair it with whole-grain crackers or a piece of fruit for a balanced and energy-boosting snack.
- 1/2 Cup Cottage Cheese: Cottage cheese is a versatile dairy option that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Mix it with fresh fruit for a protein-rich breakfast or snack. Alternatively, top it with chopped vegetables and a drizzle of olive oil for a quick and nutritious lunch.
In conclusion, dairy is a true nutritional ally in your journey towards a healthy lifestyle. At the St. Louis District Dairy Council (stldairycouncil.org), we are here to support you in making informed choices that benefit your well-being. Remember, dairy is not just delicious; it’s a valuable source of nutrients that your body will thank you for. So go ahead, embrace the goodness of dairy and nourish your body from the inside out!