SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dairy Council of California invites families everywhere to say "I Heart Dairy" in June, which is National Dairy Month. Scientific research confirms the multiple health benefits of milk, cheese and yogurt, making dairy foods essential for a healthy diet.

"Three servings of milk and milk products a day—whether an 8-ounce glass of milk, a 1.5-ounce serving of cheese (about the size of your index finger) or 8 ounces of yogurt—provide a package of nine essential nutrients not contained in any other single food or beverage," said Ashley Rosales, registered dietitian nutritionist with Dairy Council of California. "The health benefits of milk and milk products have been studied for decades, and studies continue today. There are so many healthy reasons your family should say 'I Heart Dairy' every day!"

A variety of studies has consistently found that three or more servings a day of dairy products—as part of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) dietary pattern—are associated with lower blood pressure. The DASH dietary pattern, endorsed in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, emphasizes low-fat dairy products and low-sodium foods along with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat meats and beans. Not consuming dairy foods also carries risk. Several studies show that getting less than three servings a day of dairy is associated with higher risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Adequate calcium, vitamin D and protein are all needed for healthy bones, and milk is an excellent source of these and other nutrients. "While other foods may contain some calcium, vitamin D or protein, no other single food or beverage provides the same bone-building package of nutrients as milk," said Rosales. "And dairy is convenient and affordable. Add some milk to your morning coffee, grab a cup of yogurt and fresh fruit as a snack or add cheese to your sandwich and you're well on your way to three recommended servings a day."

From better bones to a healthier heart, there are many reasons to keep milk and milk products in the diet during National Dairy Month and all year long. Be sure to visit the Scientific Research page within the Milk and Dairy section of for more on the many reasons to say "I Heart Dairy." And read the new brochure, "Cheese! Secrets, Stories & Statistics of America's Edible Obsession."

About Dairy Council of California

Dairy Council of California serves as the dairy industry's contribution to community health by providing a science-based nutrition education curriculum and resources that help children and families improve their eating habits and make nutrient-rich choices from all the food groups. For nearly a century, Dairy Council of California has partnered with schools, health professionals and community leaders to offer families simple steps for making balanced food choices while communicating the irreplaceable role that milk and milk products play in a balanced diet. Funded by California's dairy farmers and milk processors, Dairy Council of California's nutrition resources reach millions in California and throughout the United States. Find us at