Early this year, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) were released jointly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Similar to previous versions, the new DGAs recommend three servings of dairy each day as an important part of a healthy eating pattern.
The full report brings attention to the fact that daily dairy intake for most Americans falls below recommendations and calls for increased consumption. Adding one serving of dairy every day can help Americans get the nutrients they need in an easy and affordable way.
Dairy foods are nutrient rich and among the top sources of calcium, vitamin D and potassium, which are nutrients of concern in the American diet. Few other foods deliver dairy’s powerhouse of nutrients in such an affordable, appealing and readily available way. By comparison, it would take 21 cups of chopped broccoli to deliver the same amount of calcium as three glasses of milk.
The DGAs are significant because they form the foundation of all the USDA nutrition programs – school meals, WIC, Head Start, extension and SNAP-Ed. They also impact the nutrition recommendations health professionals give their patients and curriculum in the classroom.
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