Chapter 7. Breaking It Down (continued)
Another source of important nutrients is milk and milk products like fat-free or low-fat yogurt and cheese. Consuming milk products is especially important to bone health during childhood and adolescence—but it is also important at anytime in our lives. Diets rich in milk and milk products may reduce the risk of weakened bones throughout your lifetime. Adults and children should not avoid milk and milk products because of concerns that these foods lead to weight gain. Many fat-free and low-fat choices without added sugars are available and consistent with an overall healthy eating plan. Milk and milk products provide nutrients that include calcium and vitamin D6 (if this vitamin is added by the food manufacturer), vitamin A, potassium, and magnesium. Most people should aim to consume 3 cups of fat-free or low-fat milk or milk products that provide the equivalent amount of calcium each day.
If you don’t or can’t consume milk, consider ways to supplement your diet with calcium from lactose-free milk products and calcium-fortified foods and beverages. For examples, see appendix B-4.
Look for the % DV for calcium on the Nutrition Facts label so you know how much 1 serving contributes to the total amount of daily calcium you need. Remember, a food or beverage with 20% DV or more contributes a lot of calcium to your daily total, while one with 5% DV or less contributes a little.
Health experts provide advice about calcium in milligrams (mg), but the Nutrition Facts label lists only a % DV for calcium. Most adults should get approximately 1,000 mg or 100% DV daily. However, adolescents and teenagers should consume 1,300 mg (130% DV), and post-menopausal women need 1,200 mg (120% DV).
Look at "My Healthy Eating Plan." How much milk or milk products do you need each day? How does this number sound to you? Does it seem like a lot? Or do you usually eat and drink that much each day?
Let’s look at Jennifer’s plan:
Now, it’s your turn. Write down the milk and milk products you like to drink and eat, in the space below. You should also write sources of non-dairy calcium if this fits your eating style. If you need any ideas, look at the dairy and non-dairy sources of calcium in appendix B.
Calcium-rich sources I like (milk and milk products or non-dairy sources of calcium):
Now, write down fat-free and low-fat versions of these foods you like or could try and how you could eat and drink those foods and drinks throughout the day.
What to watch for. Unhealthy fats such as saturated and trans fats and cholesterol are found in many kinds of milk and milk products. So, look for choices that are fat-free or low-fat when selecting those products. Additionally, some milk products and non-diary desserts and creamers may be processed or made with certain oils (for example, palm oil, palm fruit oil, palm kernel oil, coconut oil or hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils) that increase the amount of saturated and/or trans fats in the food.
The Nutrition Facts label can help you choose fats wisely. Use the % DV on the Nutrition Facts label to identify which nutrients (total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol) are high or low: 5% DV or less is low and 20% DV or more is high...remember? There is no % DV for trans fat, but you should aim to keep trans fat as low as possible.
Additionally, the labels on some food packages have information about the specific amount or type of fat in a food. Some examples of claims to look for are "fat-free," "low saturated fat," or "light."
There are many ways to reduce the saturated fat from milk and milk products in your diet. This table shows a few examples of the saturated fat content of different forms of milk and milk products you may eat. Compare foods in the same food category (for example, regular cheddar cheese and low-fat cheddar cheese)—if you choose a lower-saturated fat choice, you can still enjoy many of your favorite foods as you take steps toward a Healthier You.
6. Older adults, people with dark skin, and people who don’t get enough sunlight need more vitamin D. For more information, see chapter 11, "Healthier Older Adults".