3 Surprising Dairy Health Facts

Southeast Dairy Association - Dairy Assortment

Perhaps you know about the bone-building power of dairy, but there are other dairy facts you may not have heard about. Dairy foods are sought out not only for their wonderful taste, but also for their amazing nutritional value. The more you know about dairy, the more you understand how vital it is as a part of a well-balanced diet.

Interesting Dairy Fact: Eat More Cheese

Cheese Prevents Cavities

Cheese is one of America’s favorite foods and is included in many of our favorite dishes. Who doesn’t love gooey, cheesy macaroni and cheese and pizza. How about slices of brie, sharp cheddar, or gouda with some crackers and fruit? Where would spaghetti and meatballs be without a fresh sprinkle of parmesan? Besides its great taste and versatility, one of the best qualities of cheese is that it can help prevent cavities. Casein, a protein found in cheese, helps to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities. Now you have another reason to say “cheese” when you show your pearly whites for pictures!

More Dairy Facts

Dairy Fat Does Not Increase the Risk of Heart Disease

There is a growing body of research that shows that saturated fat in dairy foods does not increase the risk for heart disease as once thought. In fact, a diet rich in dairy has been shown to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. Dairy products may reduce the risk of type II diabetes and high blood pressure.

This has to do with the “company” of nutrients that dairy foods and beverages keep. It is hypothesized that the other nutrients in dairy foods might prevent the saturated fat from contributing to heart disease.

Research does not show that the saturated fat in dairy foods and beverages actively prevents heart disease, but simply does not increase the risk.

Dairy Foods Promote Calcium Absorption

Calcium is important in our diet for a variety of reasons. One of the top reasons is that it aids in the absorption of vitamin D, which helps build and maintain strong bones. Equally important, calcium is absorbed in the small intestine in the presence of vitamin D. However, not all calcium is absorbed equally. Some foods contain a type of calcium that is not easily absorbed or contains other nutrients that inhibit its absorption. Dairy foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt have a very high calcium absorption rate of 32 percent, as compared to that of spinach, which is only around 5 percent. Choosing dairy foods can help your body absorb the calcium it needs to build strong bones.

Get Dairy Facts and Much More at Dairy Alliance

Learn more about the health benefits of dairy foods. You can never learn too many dairy facts! Build up your knowledge of what’s important to put in your body and get endless delicious dairy recipes.

Southeast Dairy Association - Lanier DabruzziLanier Dabruzzi, MS, RD, LD