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Get the Facts on Dairy & Drinks

Dairy, juice and plantmilks (like soy) provide a wide variety of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals for all ages and stages of life, helping you maintain a healthy, balanced diet

Dairy

All of dairy’s various formats, whether milk, yoghurt or cheese, are sources of more than 10 essential nutrients from calcium to protein and zinc, all of which are important for good health and wellbeing.

Dairy provides Australians with approximately 60% of their daily calcium needs and the National Health and Medical Research Council recommends that, on average, children and adults need three serves of dairy each day. Unfortunately 80% of Australian adults don't get their recommended daily intake of dairy.

Research suggests there is a range of ways that eating dairy as part of a balanced diet can assist good health:

NutrientFor...
ProteinGrowth, development and repair; strong muscles and bones.
CarbohydrateFuel for the body
CalciumStrong bones and teeth; nerve and muscle function.
PhospherousStrong bones and teeth; release of energy from food.
MagnesiumMovement of energy within the body; strong bones
ZincGrowth and development; wound healing; strong bones.
PotassiumBlood pressure control; muscle and nerve function.
Vitamin AImmune function; healthy eyes and skin
Vitamin B2Helps to release eneergy from food; healthy eyes and skin
Vitamon B12Brain and nerve functioning; helps to keep blood healthy.

Heart health – As per the Australian Dietary Guidelines, having two to three serves of dairy foods each day can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

Blood pressure – consuming three serves of dairy (especially low-fat) each day is associated with a reduced risk of high blood pressure (also known as hypertension). While the exact reason is still unknown, there are many beneficial nutrients in low-fat dairy that may contribute to this protective effect, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin D and protein.

Body weight – eating the recommended serves of dairy is not associated with weight gain in adults. In fact,  research shows that enjoying dairy as part of a weight loss diet may lead to greater fat loss over the short-term compared with a kilojoule-restricted diet alone. This has been attributed to the calcium, protein and fatty acids found in dairy foods. Further research continues in this area.

Type 2 diabetes – research shows dairy foods are associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes due to their beneficial effects on heart disease, blood pressure and weight. Dairy foods are important when managing diabetes as they have a low glycaemic index (GI). Low GI foods produce a gradual rise in blood sugar and insulin levels, which is important in reducing the risk of diabetes-associated complications.

Bone and teeth health – dairy foods are an important source of nutrients such as calcium, protein, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc, which help to improve bone mineral density and bone health.

Cancer– research shows that drinking more than one serve of milk per day is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.

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