What you should know about dairy

| June 26, 2020 1:00 AM

Dairy facts Dairy farm facts

• The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) released the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), which reinforces the importance of consuming three daily servings of dairy foods like milk and cheese.

• The new DGA guidelines propose three different healthy eating patterns and dairy foods are a part of all three. Dairy is also highlighted for providing three of the four nutrients that are typically lacking in American diets: calcium, potassium and vitamin D.

• Dairy’s unique combination of nutrients plays key roles in preventing heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and osteoporosis. Dairy is important for building strong bones and teeth.

• When planning meals, choose milk, cheese and yogurt, all of which are excellent sources of calcium, vitamin D and potassium to help fuel your body.

• Cow’s milk offers a superior nutrient package over alternative beverages such as soy, almond, rice or coconut. Fat-free cow’s milk contains 15 fewer calories per glass, 70 percent more potassium and almost twice as much protein as many calcium-fortified soy beverages.

• Most milk alternative drinks have only half the nutrients of real milk and cost nearly twice as much.

• Both organic and regular dairy foods contain the same essential nutrients key to a healthy and balanced diet.

• People who are sensitive to lactose can consume dairy foods that are lactose-reduced or lactose-free.

• Dairy farming is a family tradition, one that has been a way of life for many generations. Ninety-eight percent of dairy farms are family owned and operated.

• Dairy farmers are dedicated and take pride in caring for their cows by working closely with veterinarians to keep their cows healthy and comfortable. Dairy cows receive regular checkups, vaccinations and prompt medical treatment.

• Dairy farmers work hard to provide your family with the same safe and wholesome dairy foods they give to their children.

• Dairy farmers follow strict Food and Drug Administration guidelines and process all dairy foods in a safe environment.

• Despite rising fuel and feed costs, milk continues to be a great value at about 25 cents per 8-ounce glass.

Information from the thedairyalliance.com/june-dairy-month.