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Find the benefits of dairy; vital.

Byline: Craig McQueen

WE all know that milk and dairy products are good for our bones and teeth thanks to the calcium they contain.

But that's not the only reason why dairy products are good for us, and with this week being National Dairy Week, we're being encouraged to make sure we have plenty of them in our diet.

Dr Judith Bryans, director of The Dairy Council, said: "Although dairy products are primarily associated with calcium, many also provide protein, carbohydrates and varying amounts of fat, while making a valuable contribution to the intake of a variety of vitamins and minerals.

"Everyone requires good nutrition, however, some people fall short of meeting their nutritional needs. Eating a healthy balanced diet can help combat this and dairy foods fit very well into a healthy eating pattern."

The best way to get all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals the body needs is to eat a healthy balanced diet. This involves eating lots of fruit and vegetables, and making starchy foods such as wholegrain bread, pasta and rice the centre focus of a meal.

Milk and dairy foods are also very important as they provide the body with an impressive combination of nutrients, many of which are essential.

National recommendations for the daily calcium intake of a healthy adult are 700mg per day.

Breast-feeding women require more calcium and will need to eat a wide range of calcium containing foods to meet their needs, while children's requirements for calcium will depend on their age and gender.

Here are some other reasons why dairy products are good for you:

Milk and dairy products are rich sources of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and protein which are all essential for healthy bone growth and development.

The high levels of calcium and phosphorous in milk and dairy products are also good for growing and looking after healthy teeth.

More and more studies suggest that consuming two portions of dairy each day, along with five portions of fruit and vegetables as part of a low salt diet, can reduce high blood pressure.

Several studies have linked milk and dairy consumption with a reduced risk of heart disease. A recent study in Welsh men found that those who drank the most milk had fewer heart attacks than those who had little or no milk in their diets.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 2, 2009
Words:393
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