With busy schedules, it’s not always easy to make healthy eating choices. Dairy foods provide a unique package of essential nutrients that are irreplaceable in the diet as a source of essential nutrients.
How much dairy should I include in my diet?
The amount of dairy foods you need depends on your age. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 3 cups of lowfat or fat-free milk and dairy foods daily for those 9 years or older, 2 1/2 servings for those 4-8 years old, and 2 servings for those 2-3 years old.
Enjoying 3 daily servings of lowfat or fat-free milk, cheese or yogurt, as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, is a delicious way to improve your overall diet, get more nutrients and improve bone health.
In fact, studies show nutrient-rich dairy foods, when consumed as part of a healthy diet, may help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as osteoporosis, hypertension, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Does your plate look like MyPlate?
MyPlate is the USDA’s primary food group symbol to help consumers adopt healthy eating habits consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. MyPlate provides a clear and visual message that a healthy diet is comprised of a variety of nutritious foods, including lowfat and fat free milk, cheese and yogurt. The USDA recommends that one serving of dairy is equal to:
- An 8 ounce glass of milk
- A 6 or 8 ounce container of yogurt
- 1 1/2 ounces of natural cheese or 2 ounces of processed cheese