15% of a balanced diet

dairy

We all need vitamins and minerals on a day to day basis. Did you know that the dairy queen, yogurt is rich vitamins and minerals?

Read on to learn how milk and dairy products can be ideal in our diets. Plus, learn the best way to absorb calcium. Or click here to learn more about vitamins and Minerals.

Wait! What if I am lactose intolerant or a vegan?

Whilst there are fewer options available, dairy free options, do exist and are easy to find. Remember it’s the nutrients in milk products and dairy produce that are most important. You don’t have to be drinking soya milk all day to have a balanced diet.

I will be providing tips and alternatives throughout, so sit tight.

Calcium… Who needs it?

The obvious answer is that we all need calcium for healthy teeth, bones and nails but there are other reasons. It is also used to help keep our bodies fluid, strengthen our hair and control our muscles.

How much do we need?

Generally, the RDA of calcium for healthy adults is 800mg. The RDA seen on yogurt packs is usually 800mg but it can vary from 500mg to 1500mg for those that are pregnant or over 45.

Do I really need to watch the amount of calcium I have?

Since it tells you the calcium content on most packs, it is good to note how much you have. This way, it is very easy to see if you are having enough dairy products, without worrying about the 15% you need. If you have a little extra you should be fine. Our bodies store that calcium in our bones and is used when needed.

Why is yogurt the dairy queen?

I just think that it’s an appropriate title. Yoghurt is by far the dairy queen. Low fat options (anything less than 1g per 100g) are rich in calcium. In fact, you’ll find it hard to find a calcium rich alternative that tastes so good. Also, dairy free/lactose free alternatives exist. Making it a great choice for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant.

I call it the dairy queen because you can do a lot with yoghurt and not worry too much about the calories. It has much more calcium than milk and some cheeses.

Many of the lactose free (AKA dairy free) alternatives are just as rich in essential vitamins and minerals as some dairy products!

You can have the dairy queen for breakfast, on its own or with cereal. Try blending it with some fruit or even mix it with juices/smoothies to make a tasty and nutritious yoghurt drink; a great way to have your 5 a day. Click here to learn more about fruit and your 5 a day.

Yoghurt pots and drinks also vary in size, making it easy to eat on the go. Some even contain essential bacteria.

The “live” bacteria in yoghurt (as you often here in adverts) is good for our immune systems and stabilises the natural bacteria in our bodies. Some women even agree that it helps prevent thrush.

If you don’t eat yogurt, you are really missing out.

What about the other sources of calcium?

Milk and Dairy products include:

  • Milk
  • Yogurt – The king of dairy
  • Cream
  • Spreads like butter
  • Ghee
  • And cheese

If you eat these options, watch out for the saturated fats. Low-fat or reduced fat options are best. If you buy butter or margarine watch out for lighter spreads that have more than 40g of fat per 100g. Click here to learn more about saturated fat.

Lactose/Dairy Free options include:

  • Hard tap water – but it tastes horrible
  • Tofu – A good vegetarian/vegan option
  • Tahini – Sesame seed spread
  • Pilchards, red salmon and sardines
  • Figs and apricots
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Beans
  • Nuts like almonds and brazil nuts
  • And some cereals.

Return from Dairy Queen to Food Groups.

Or click here to head to the next group, Meat & Beans