Health Benefits of Dairy
Dairy foods like low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese are fundamental to good nutrition. Healthy eating styles that include fat-free or low-fat dairy foods have been linked to health benefits such as reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in adults and improved bone health, especially in children and adolescents. Milk, cheese and yogurt provide high-quality protein. A growing body of research supports benefits of higher protein diets for athletes and highly active individuals, weight management and to foster healthy aging.
Three servings of low-fat and fat-free dairy foods like milk, cheese and yogurt are recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans for those 9 years and older, and there are options in the dairy case for almost everyone—including lactose-free or low-lactose varieties for those with lactose intolerance.
Living with lactose intolerance doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite dairy foods. Did you know that each person with lactose intolerance is likely able to tolerate varying degrees of lactose? That’s because one size does not fit all. It is all about understanding how much lactose is in the foods you love and how much you can handle at once. Lactose-free milk is real milk without lactose; hard, natural cheeses have minimal lactose and yogurt with live and active cultures helps digest lactose, making it easier to tolerate.