Dairy’s Latest Boost

New federal guidelines increase recommended daily intake.
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) hails the government’s January release of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005, which recommends three servings of lowfat or fat-free dairy products each day for Americans over age 8.
The new dairy recommendation was based on a report from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the government-appointed expert panel that studied the latest scientific research on nutrition during a yearlong process.
“The scientific research continues to build on the importance of dairy’s powerful nutrient package — especially in light of concerns about Americans not getting enough of certain key nutrients, many of which are found in milk and milk products,” says Clay Hough, IDFA senior vice president and general counsel. “We commend the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for their science-based recommendations on dairy in the new guidelines.”
While the previous edition of the dietary guidelines from 2000 encouraged people to eat two to three servings of dairy foods a day, in February 2004 the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science released new daily recommendations for several nutrients, including potassium. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee also referenced scientific data that showed that many Americans fall short on calcium, magnesium and vitamin A. Milk and milk products are among the best sources of these nutrients.
“Milk-product consumption has been associated with overall diet quality and adequacy of intake of many nutrients, including calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, riboflavin, vitamin A, folate and vitamin D,” the guidelines report states, noting that “milk and milk products provide more than 70 percent of the calcium consumed by Americans.”
The dairy foods group continues to be a critical building block in the nutritional guidance for all Americans because of its unique package of nutrients, says Hough. Calcium and potassium are two of the top nutrients of concern in Americans’ diets. Calcium is critical for keeping bones strong, and potassium regulates the body’s blood pressure and muscle activity
For more information, visit www.idfa.org.  m

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