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23 Reasons to Keep Dairy in Your Diet in 2023

Admit it, we’re all guilty of entering that “new year, new me” mentality when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. According to The Statistics Portal, eating healthier, exercising more and losing weight were the three most popular New Year’s resolutions in 2022, followed by saving more and spending less money.

Fortunately, keeping dairy in your diet can help with all of these goals! Here are 23 reasons why:

1. It’s nutrient packed – Milk contains nine essential nutrients, which include:

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin A
  • Riboflavin
  • Phosphorus
  • Vitamin B12
  • Protein
  • Potassium
  • Niacin

2. An ingredient list you can understand – Milk is made up of only three ingredients – Milk, vitamin D and vitamin A. Plant-based juices can contain 10 or more added ingredients!

3. Zero added sugars – Zip! Zero! Nada! Milk contains zero added sugars and only 12 grams of natural sugar (lactose).

4. It can save you some ‘moo’lah – Dairy products and fluid milk are one of the most cost-effective sources of both protein and calcium.

5. It’s local – Milk doesn’t have to travel far from the farm to end up in your refrigerator. In fact, most farms are located only 200-300 miles away. Once a cow is milked, it takes a maximum of 3 days for her milk to head to the grocery story. Now that’s what we call farm fresh!

6. Weight loss – We’re all guilty of overindulging during the holidays. But snacking on protein filled snacks is actually recommended by nutritionists! The high-quality protein found in milk, cheese and yogurt keeps us feeling fuller longer, which can assist with weight loss.

7. Cell growth – According to Medical News Today, vitamin D, one of the essential nutrients found in milk, helps play a role in cell growth regulation and cancer protection.

8. Better than sports drinks – Just got done with a workout? Drink chocolate milk! It’s a great source of electrolytes, including calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium to help replenish what’s lost in sweat.

9. It lowers your risk of high blood pressure – Nearly one-third of American’s suffer from high blood pressure. According to Dairy Good and the National Dairy Council, consumption of dairy products is linked to a lower risk of high blood pressure.

10. It’s sustainable – Dairy farmers are dedicated to producing a nutrient rich product all while caring for both their animals and the environment. According to Midwest Dairy, cows are nature’s ultimate recyclers and about 80% of what cows eat cannot be eaten by people.

11. Protein powerhouse – One serving of milk has 8 grams of power-packed protein. In comparison, one would have to drink one serving of soy juice (7 g protein) PLUS one serving of almond juice (1 g protein) to equal the protein value of milk.

12. Pearly whites – Healthy nutrition and eating habits help keep our teeth strong and white. Dairy foods have a specific role to play in dental health as they contain a unique combination of special anti-decay nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus and the protein, casein, as reported by Legendairy.

13. Improved immunity – A dose of dairy each day helps keep the doctor at bay! Vitamin A, an essential nutrient found in milk, helps support a healthy immune system.

14. Better joint health – Research has shown that drinking milk every day has been linked to reduce the progression of osteoarthritis, a disease that severely effects our mobility and joint health.

15. Relaxation – Life these days can be a little stressful. Fortunately, dairy products can help you relax. According to Mid-West Dairy, protein is more satiating than the same amount of carbohydrate or fat. This can contribute to feeling more satisfied, which could possibly help you sleep a little better. Plus, protein can help with muscle repair while sleeping – especially those who do rigorous exercise.

16. Stronger muscles – The decline of skeletal muscle tissue and function of strength with age is called sarcopenia, which is linked with an increased risk of falls and can contribute to poor health. Drinking protein rich milk and exercising regularly can help slow age-related muscle loss.

17. Improved gut health – Cultured dairy foods like yogurt contain probiotics which provide a wide array of health benefits. Probiotics in the diet can enhance the good bacteria in the gut, improve health and reduce the risk of certain diseases, as reported by the Dairy Council of California.

18. Reduced risk of diabetes – Studies have shown that dairy fat found in whole milk and cheese can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

19. Lowers risk of metabolic disease – About one in three adults has metabolic syndrome, a set of risk factors that increase the risk of stroke and heart disease. Research suggests that dairy foods can help lower these risk factors.

20. Vitamin D – According to Milk Life, nearly half of Americans get their vitamin D from milk. One 8 oz serving contains 30% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin D.

21. Sustainable energy – Coffee and energy drinks are great for a quick burst of energy, but they often come with a dreaded crash. Milk helps you fuel up without the caffeine crash. It’s a simple, easy source of protein when you need to stay energized.

​22. Helps prevent heart burn – Spicy food causing heart burn again? Studies suggest milk has a cooling effect that coats the stomach lining and esophagus against heartburn.

23. Variety and versatility – This nutrient powerhouse not only tastes great on its own, but its versatility makes it easy to use in other dishes as well. Pour it over cereal, add it to a smoothie or splash it in your favorite dish. The possibilities are endless!

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