Dairy farmers work 365 days a year, rain or shine (or Super Snowstorm Nemo)! While most of us will be cuddled up with a cup of hot cocoa and a good book this weekend as the snow piles up outside, our region’s dairy farmers will continue to work hard to produce fresh, wholesome and nutritious milk. Because of their dedication and passion for what they do, we can continue to build strong bodies by consuming one of nature’s most perfect foods: milk. (Yes, even if you’re lactose intolerant…keep reading!)
Together, low-fat and fat-free milk, cheese, and yogurt provide a unique package of nine essential nutrients, including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin, and niacin. Not to mention great taste. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans link milk to more than bone health, and we all know milk builds strong bones. But did you know that milk products have also been shown to to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes and lower blood pressure in adults? That’s a lot of bang for your buck (and your cup!)
Lactose Intolerant? Don’t worry! February is Lactose Intolerance Awareness Month, and we’re here to help you learn more about common misconceptions and simple strategies to help you enjoy the great taste and nutritional and health benefits associated with consuming three daily servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy.
Lactose intolerance refers to gastrointestinal symptoms experienced by some individuals who have low levels of lactase, the enzyme necessary to digest lactose. Lactose is the major carbohydrate in milk and some other dairy foods.
If you have been diagnosed with lactose intolerance, you can still enjoy dairy with these simple tips:
Start with a small amount of milk daily and increase slowly over several days or weeks to build your tolerance.
Opt for low-lactose or lactose-free milk and milk products. They are real milk products–just with lower amounts or zero lactose–provide the same nutrients as regular dairy foods, and they taste great.
Mix milk with other foods, such as soups and cereal; blend with fruit or drink milk with meals. Solid foods help slow digestion and allow the body more time to digest lactose.
Top sandwiches or crackers with natural cheeses such as Cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack, mozzarella and Swiss. These cheeses are low in lactose.
Enjoy easy-to-digest yogurt. The live and active cultures in yogurt help to digest lactose.
Learn more by watching a recent episode of “The Doctors” who offer tips on how to help manage lactose intolerance. Check it out!
Got Questions? Ask them below!