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Love Dairy? Love Desserts? Love this!

June 14, 2010

In honor of June being hailed as “Dairy Month,” we are going to look at some different ways that dairy products can help you live a healthy lifestyle this summer. Some people seem to have a natural attraction to healthy foods, while others feel that liking this kind of cuisine necessitates an acquired taste. However, there are some dairy products than can dually serve your body and your “sweet tooth.” A gelato is a mixture of frozen milk and water that gives you the satisfaction of your favorite ice cream without making you feel guilty. Television commercials fill us in on yogurt’s new secret: it’s a dessert! With flavors like key lime pie, chocolate fudge, and cherry cheesecake, who doesn’t want to grab a yogurt on their way out the door? Cottage cheese can spice up any boring salad without destroying its nutritional value. You can even experience another culture by consuming dairy products. Travel to Thailand with your taste buds, and try out Thai iced tea. This drink is both refreshing on those smoldering summer days and pleasing to your stomach. Not only are these dairy products tasty they are also good for you. The average adult under 50 needs 1,000 mg of Calcium (Ca) and 200 IU of Vitamin D per day. Milk and dairy products are loaded with Ca and Vitamin D. One cup of milk has 300 mg of Ca and 100 IU of Vitamin D. An average low-fat yogurt has approximately 350 mg of Ca and 80 IU of Vitamin D.A serving of milk also contains phosphorus, riboflavin, protein, vitamin B-12, potassium, vitamin A, and niacin. The vitamins and minerals in milk are very important to a normal functioning body. In addition these vitamins and minerals also: help strengthen your bones, keep your immune system healthy, regulate your blood pressure, and maintain your central nervous system. The high quality protein found in milk and dairy products contain all of the essential amino acids. These amino acids are considered the building blocks of life. The protein found in milk will also help keep you feeling full and help build and maintain strong lean muscles. Recent research published by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition shows that individuals on a reduced calorie diet who consume dairy products are likely to lose more weight and body fat than those individuals just on a reduced calorie diet. So not only are milk and dairy products loaded with vitamins, minerals, and protein, these dairy products taste good and can actually help you lose more weight. Head out to the grocery store and take a stroll down the dairy products aisle, you may be surprised by all the exciting options which are available for your enjoyment. Let’s try and make every month “Dairy Month” not only will we be helping ourselves but we will also be helping the hard working dairy farmer who cares for the cows, which make the wonderful product called milk.

*Introduction provided by Courtney Boden, Cumberland County 4-H Intern. Courtney is a student at Valley Forge Christian College, majoring in Elementary Education*

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