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Dive into Dairy

posted Jun 2, 2017, 6:08 AM by Tracy Ducker, MS, RDN   [ updated Jun 2, 2017, 6:23 AM ]

June is National Dairy Month. According to the International Dairy Foods Council, dairy month started in 1937 to promote drinking milk and since has evolved into celebrating the contributions of the dairy industry. Without milk we wouldn’t have cheese, yogurt, ice cream, cheesecake, or butter and list goes on. Dairy foods contain 8 essential vitamins and minerals plus protein, carbohydrate and fat (depending on the food). Let’s take a look at each one and its benefits.

                                                                               The five vitamins found in dairy foods are:

       Vitamin A – helps your eyes adjust to light and darkness and promotes skin growth

                         Vitamin D - is needed to help calcium and phosphorous absorption and aids in bone formation

                                                           Niacin – is necessary for energy production

                                                           Riboflavin – is needed for the breakdown of proteins and for energy metabolism

                                                           B12 – is crucial for forming healthy blood cells

                                                                                                                                                                  The three minerals include:

                                                                                                                                    Calcium – is essential for strong bone formation

                                                                                                                                    Potassium – is responsible for fluid balance and in maintaining nerve and muscle function

                                                                                                                                    Phosphorus – is needed for energy production, binds with calcium for bone formation

The proteins in milk are casein and whey. Milk and cheese contain about 6-8 grams of protein per serving and 8 oz of yogurt contains 8-17 grams of protein. Lactose is the carbohydrate found in dairy foods, milk contains the most lactose while hard cheeses like cheddar contain the least amount. This is why some people with lactose intolerance can eat hard cheese without symptoms   

Want to do something fun? Make your own butter. It isn’t hard and if you have kids, they will love it. This is a recipe I have used and I prefer using the marbles, it is faster, but it is optional. Make sure the marbles are clean. (You can also use a blender).