Doing dairy? Here’s why it’s still great

By Drum Digital
29 June 2018

The benefits of milk explained

Wondering if you should still include milk in your family’s diet? The truth is, milk and other dairy products deliver a unique package of many important nutrients including quality protein, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc, and vitamins A, B12 and B2. These nutrients in milk and dairy act as a team, called the dairy matrix.

The benefits of dairy

Dairy not only contain plenty of nutrients, the dairy matrix comes in an easy-to-consume “whole-food” package. In fact, we can say that with dairy the whole is more than the sum of its parts! Consuming dairy is an easy way to get many of the things our bodies need most to function -- the things recommended as part of your daily diet.

The nutritional value of food is not just about the nutrients it contains but also about how these nutrients are organised with respect to one another. Their interaction – called the food matrix – determines the overall nutritional and health properties of what you eat. Dairy has a unique matrix that offers your body a powerful package of health benefits.

It's a good source of protein that's easily absorbed by the body, so including it in your diet helps your bones to stay healthy. Dairy also helps to keep your blood pressure in check and your weight under control when taken as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

It's especially useful to active people, while offering the elderly a convenient way to maintain bone and muscle mass.

Get the real deal

Few foods can match dairy's nutritional value. Fortified products may contribute to your total nutrient intake, but the overall health effects aren't as good as when you get those nutrients from a natural food source.

Tip: Read the information on products' packaging to see what nutrients they contain.

Your daily dairy dose

South African dietary guidelines recommend that a healthy diet should include milk and other dairy products every day, and health authorities all over the world say the same. Try to include milk and dairy products such as amasi, yoghurt or cheese in your daily diet. From smoothies to shakes and a good old grilled cheese – these foods are tasty, convenient and affordable, and can be enjoyed in many ways while you benefit from the goodness of dairy.

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