Milk and other dairy products are the most important sources of calcium in our diet. In addition, they contain other fundamental nutrients which ensure healthy bones such as potassium, vitamin D and protein. This is why it's important you try to consume the recommended three servings of milk or low-fat dairy products each day. To get a better idea of what types of foods will help you meet this recommendation, here are some examples that are equivalent to one serving:
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1 cup low-fat yogurt
- 1 ½ ounces of cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss or parmesan cheese
- 2 ounces of American cheese
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- 2 cups cottage cheese 1
Discover 10 ways to include dairy products in your diet.
The advantage of eating these foods is that you can eat them by themselves, or use them as an ingredient in a wide variety of recipes. Some tips for increasing your dairy intake are:
- Pour milk on cereal or oatmeal for breakfast.
- Eat an 8-ounce yogurt as a mid-morning snack.
- Include a glass of milk as one of your drinks.
- Add skim milk to soups.
- Make a delicious yogurt dip and use it on your favorite vegetables.
- Create a new dessert with fruit and yogurt.
- Add cheese as an additional ingredient to your salads.
- Make mashed potatoes au gratin by putting them in the oven with a bit of mozzarella cheese.
- For snacks, prepare soda crackers or whole wheat crackers with low-fat cheddar or cottage cheese.
- Get creative with dairy products! Try combining ricotta or cottage cheese with fruits and vegetables or your favorite recipe; add yogurt or milk to sauces and dressings; create your own snacks and enjoy these delicious and nutritious foods!
1. United States Department of Agriculture. Inside the Pyramid.Reviewed May, 2008 from http://www.mypyramid.gov/pyramid/milk.html.
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