Science and Medical Reasons to Include Dairy Foods in a Healthy Diet

Doctors Rosaura Lees and Rosa M. Ortega explain the medical and scientific reasons for eating 3 servings of dairy foods a day, among them milk, cheese and yogurt.

Presented.- Reference Experts emphasize that milk, cheese and curd should be included in the diet due to their proven healthy benefits, For Rosa María Ortega, doctor of pharmacy, professor of nutrition, member of the Dairy Sustainability Committee and various national and international associations, “dairy products are an important source of proteins, minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory or Peptide component. Bioactive; And recent studies indicate that they adaptively regulate the composition of the intestinal microbiota.

According to Ortega, the recommended consumption of dairy is 2-4 servings (so, a recommended average of 3 per day). The largest portions (3-4) – he adds – will correspond to the groups that need calcium most: teenagers, pregnant women, those during breastfeeding, the elderly or athletes… “Milk, yogurt, cheese. As such the possibility of alternating the consumption of different foods – he explains – makes it easier to achieve the recommended consumption.”

Similarly, it draws attention to the misconceptions of consumers who mistakenly think that dairy foods can be easily replaced by others. For example, Ortega remembers that botanical drinks (soy, almond, oat…) do not replace milk or other dairy products. “Vegetable drinks can be consumed as part of the right diet, but without ignoring the fact that they are just vegetables, never dairy, and they cannot replace them. Some of these plant products are enriched with calcium and other nutrients to bring them closer to milk, but the resulting product, the dairy matrix, will never be the same,” he specifies.

And, in the face of false beliefs, this distinguished professor also points out that people with lactose intolerance can consume dairy products altogether, choosing low-ingredient or lactose-free versions, “therefore suppressing the consumption of dairy products. This problem, which has often not been properly diagnosed, but which the person has assumed given his knowledge and perception, has turned out to be wrong in many cases. It would be desirable to have a medical diagnosis of the problem – to know or rule it out – and to take appropriate measures with greater security.”

In Ortega’s opinion, dairy products are, as a result, “valuable foods that should not be excluded from the diet, given that the consumption of milk, cheese and yogurt within the framework of a Mediterranean or Atlantic diet and an active lifestyle is associated with great health. benefits. In contrast, the messages circulating about the dangers associated with dairy consumption are false.

Therefore, the abandonment of dairy products is a mistake we must avoid, said the distinguished Dr. Rosaura Lees, professor at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Santiago de Compostela and member of the Inlac Dairy Sustainability Committee. “Restricting food to our diet is not a trivial matter, as it involves a change in dietary patterns and can represent a significant nutritional risk, as well as when we avoid dairy products,” warns this reference expert. Let’s talk about it.” Dairy foods have always been part of traditional healthy and sustainable diets, such as those of the Mediterranean or the Atlantic, “which largely explains why our country has a high life expectancy and communities like Galicia enjoy longevity in their lives.” “Similar population to Japan,” Leis stressed. He also recalled the particular importance of not neglecting the consumption of dairy products in childhood as it is a “fundamental” food for the “growth and development” and good “bone mineralization” of the child.

The lead researcher of the Pediatric Nutrition Group of the Health Research Institute of Santiago says that scientific evidence recommends an average of three dairy products per day throughout life; Cyber ​​Obesity members; President of the Nutrition and Breastfeeding Committee of the Spanish Nutrition Foundation (FEN) and the Spanish Pediatric Association, among other responsibilities. In fact, these foods provide intakes of macro and micronutrients that help meet recommendations for good health. They are the main source of calcium, but also fat-soluble vitamins, proteins of high biological value and bioactive components. Without forgetting dairy fat, since more and more scientific research looks at its association with a reduced risk of certain diseases.

In this context, “We must not forget that one of the most prevalent and degenerative diseases during adulthood is osteoporosis. “With adequate intake of dairy, we can also reach peak mass in late adolescence, although we must then maintain consumption throughout life,” they concluded.

A balanced diet includes 2-3 servings of dairy products per day for children and adults and 3-4 servings if we talk about certain stages and groups with additional needs, as these experts recommend. telling. One serving of milk is equal to 200-250 ml (one cup or glass) and one serving of curd is equal to 250 grams (2 curds). Meanwhile, the recommended portion of semi-ripened or cured cheese is around 30 grams and the portion of fresh cheese reaches 60 grams per day.

European campaign “Trust European dairy products”

European campaign “Trust European dairy products”operated by Interprofessional Dairy Organization (INLAC), propagates the nutritional and healthy values ​​of these food items. Aspects such as quality, traceability, animal welfare, food safety and environmental commitment are strong points of the European production model.

Therefore this initiative seeks to provide information from a scientific perspective about the values ​​behind the dairy sector, even at an environmental level. The dairy sector is very sensitive to climate change, and hence, it is working on a roadmap to achieve climate neutrality, starting from evaluating the emission levels associated with the production, processing and marketing of dairy products. The aim is to progressively reduce emissions, optimize resources and reduce our environmental footprint to produce the same amount of milk. Furthermore, pastures themselves are a natural carbon sink, and livestock activity helps maintain them.

In Inlak’s opinion, public opinion should be aware of all the positive effects derived from grazing, which helps the dispersal of seeds, thus promoting the regeneration of plant species, while avoiding forest fires. helps.

A dairy sector, in short, is strongly committed to producing quality food, and respecting the planet.

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