Research shows that on average, Americans are eating only half the recommended 3 servings of dairy foods each day. That means it’s likely we will come up short on the recommended amounts of calcium and other essential nutrients dairy foods naturally provide to help keep bones strong and bodies healthy. Encouraging your family to eat 3-A-Day of Dairy —three servings of milk, cheese or yogurt— every day is a deliciously easy way to help build stronger bones and healthy bodies. In addition to calcium, milk, cheese and yogurt together provide: potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamins D, A and B12, riboflavin and niacin (niacin equivalents).
What’s a serving?
- 8 ounces of low-fat or fat-free milk (plain or chocolate)
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese
- 1 cup low-fat or fat-free yogurt
- 1 1/2 ounces natural cheese
- 2 ounces of processed cheese (like Kraft Singles)
- 1/3 cup of shredded cheese
- 1 cup low-fat pudding
- 1 cup frozen yogurt
- 1/2 cup low-fat ice cream
If you are between the ages of 19-50 the research shows that 9 out of 10 women and 6 out of 10 men are not getting enough calcium! Doesn’t that just blow your mind? Studies also say that just taking a calcium supplement doesn’t cut the mustard. You need the other nutrients found in milk, too!
Each 8 ounce glass of milk you consume contains:
- 30% of daily calcium – strengthens bones
- 25% of daily vitamin D – helps your body absorb calcium
- 24% of daily riboflavin – helps convert food to energy
- 23% of daily phosphorus – helps strengthen bones
- 18% of daily vitamin B12 – builds red blood cells
- 16% of daily protein – builds, maintains muscle tissue
- 11% of daily potassium – helps regulate blood pressure
- 10% of daily vitamin A – maintains vision and skin
Milk is not only good for your bones, it also helps your body convert the food you eat to fuel, and it provides the all important protein your muscles need, especially while Shredding!
So this week, starting today, we at the Sisterhood are challenging ourselves, and YOU, to get your daily recommended allowance of calcium – 3 servings a day for 5 days – from milk, cheese, and/or yogurt. Can you do it?
If you have any suggestions or creative ways to incorporate more calcium in our diets, please let us know!
Sources: www.3aday.org, Cooking Light Magazine, May 2009
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