Dairy products are an important source of nutrients for growing children and teens. Milk and other dairy foods such as yogurt and cheese are excellent sources of protein, calcium, and vitamins for people of all ages and activity levels. Dairy is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, including carbohydrates, protein, calcium, vitamins A, D, B12, riboflavin, and niacin. Just one 8-ounce serving of milk has 8 grams of protein. Comparatively, an almond beverage alternative has only 1 gram of protein. Protein is essential for our health as it builds and repairs muscle tissue. Studies show that protein and calcium in milk may play a critical role in bone health and density, decreasing osteoporosis risk.
Today, there are 10 million Americans with osteoporosis and an additional 43 million at risk of developing the condition. Women are four times more likely to develop the disease, but older men are also susceptible. Try to incorporate three servings daily of low-fat or fat-free dairy products to provide essential nutrients to build strong bones. See the infographic in the May/June 2022 edition of ROOT for more tips on preventing osteoporosis.