Key Health benefits

  • Because they’re good sources of protein and calcium, milk and dairy products form part of a healthy diet.
  • Our bodies need protein to work properly and to grow or repair themselves.
  • The calcium in dairy foods is particularly good for us because our bodies absorb it easily.
  • Calcium helps to keep our bones and teeth strong.
  • Intake of dairy products is linked to improved bone health, and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  • The intake of dairy products is especially important to bone health during childhood and adolescence, when bone mass is being built.
  • Intake of dairy products is also associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, and with lower blood pressure in adults.

Nutrients

  • Calcium is used for building bones and teeth and in maintaining bone mass. Dairy products are the primary source of calcium in daily diets. Diets that provide 3 cups or the equivalent of dairy products per day can improve bone mass.
  • Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Dairy products, especially yogurt, fluid milk, and soymilk (soy beverage), provide potassium.
  • Vitamin D functions in the body to maintain proper levels of calcium and phosphorous, thereby helping to build and maintain bones. Milk and dairy products that are fortified with vitamin D are good sources of this nutrient. Other sources include vitamin D-fortified yogurt and vitamin D-fortified ready-to-eat breakfast cereals.
  • Milk products that are consumed in their low-fat or fat-free forms provide little or no solid fat.