Saturday, February 28, 2015

Got Milk?

1%, 2% skim, whole, shelf-stable… What does this all mean?  Is dairy really all that important for us? It’s time to learn all about cow’s milk! The array of choices for milk is constantly increasing. Now you might ask yourself, what’s the difference? Isn’t milk, milk? There is actually a significant difference. Eight ounces of 2% milk has 122 calories and 5 grams of fat, 3 of them being saturated. 1% milk has 102 calories and 2 grams of fat, mostly saturated. Nonfat or skim milk has 83 calories and almost zero grams of fat. Whole milk contains 4.5 grams of saturated fat in an 8oz. glass. Only 13g of saturated fat should be consumed daily for individuals based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Dairy, such as milk, is used as a main source for calcium. Milk has about 300mg of calcium per cup, just a little less than a third of the amount needed daily (1,000mg). If you have problems with milk, such as being lactose-intolerant or just do not like dairy, do not worry! There are still several ways you can receive your daily calcium. If you are lactose-intolerant, try sipping lactose-free milk. It is treated with lactase; the enzyme that breaks down lactose (milk sugar), so that it does not cause gas or stomach issues. Yogurt is also another great option that has very little lactose, is usually well tolerated, and contains calcium! If you just do not like dairy, foods that you can eat that include good sources of calcium include leafy green vegetables (such as spinach or kale), white beans, almonds, broccoli, figs, and soybeans.

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