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5 Health Benefits To Eating Dairy Products

Everybody has seen those Got Milk and 3-A-Day posters at their old high school cafeterias and have been told since elementary school to always drink your milk with every meal. This message, over time, may seem a bit pushy, but the reasoning behind it and health benefits from eating dairy are so immense that it would seem nonsensical to avoid dairy products... unless you're lactose intolerant, of course.

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1. Milk contains some of the highest quality dietary protein

"Skinny Chocolate Cannoli Pudding for the Win!" The Fit Fork. 2015. thefitfork.com

Dietary proteins are a very integral part of our nutritional needs, and more specifically the amino acids within proteins are what give structure to our own proteins within our bodies. Dairy contains many of these important amino acids such as leucine that have multiple benefits to our health and overall bodily functions. Foods such as milk, yogurt, and cheese have been seen to improve appetite control and satiety. The increase in protein in our diet changes our blood glucose regulation from insulin-mediated peripheral glucose to amino acid-mediated hepatic glucose production. This change in metabolic management causes a more efficient metabolic system and can help in things such as weight management (Pasiakos A2-A4).

Pasiakas, Stefan M. Metabolic Advantages of Higher Protein Diets and Benefits of Dairy Foods on Weight Management, Glycemic Regulation, and Bone. Journal of Food Science. 80(S1) A2-A7. 2015.

2. Dairy can help lower cholesterol levels

"Does Fish Oil Lower Cholesterol?" Omega Three Benefits.com 2016. omegathreebenefits.com

Certain studies have shown that following a diet high on vegetables, fruit, and particularly 3 servings of dairy a day help decrease cholesterol levels significantly. The group that participated in this study were found to have a significantly lower serum cholesterol concentration after 8 weeks of being on this specific diet than those who did not follow this diet during the study (McKinley 370). This knowledge could help millions of middle aged Americans and people all over the globe who suffer from high cholesterol levels and the health issues associated with it.

McKinley, Michelle. A new health promotion message for dairy- the 3-A-Day Campaign. British Nutrition Foundation. 28(4) 369-372. 2003.

3. Dairy can improve heart health and factors associated with cardiovascular functions

Fuse / Getty Images / Via "Heart Health" The Dr. Oz Show. 2016. doctorozz.com

An increased consumption of dairy in the everyday diet can lead to a much lower blood pressure and can reduce the risk of cardio vascular disease. Milk and other dairy products also lower the risk of hypertension in accordance with lowering blood pressure and cardio vascular disease risks. This is because these products create a low glycemic response when consumed which severely limit the biological responses in our body that would typically lead to poor vascular function (Ballard 37). Along with lowering cholesterol, milk and other dairy products have very good heart health benefits that would make any dairy lover confident in what they consume.

Ballard, Kevin D., Bruno, Richard S. protective role of dairy and its constituents on vascular function independent of blood pressure- lowering activities. Nutrition Reviews. 73(1) 36-50. 2015.

4. Dairy can decrease the risk for certain cancers

Via "Cancer" PAN. 2016. panna.org

Dairy products are linked in helping to avoid certain kinds of cancer, mainly colon and breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among females in the world. Studies have shown a correlation between increased milk consumption and decreased risk of breast cancer. They share an inverse relationship where women who drink more milk are less likely to get breast cancer. In the case of colon cancer, calcium has been seen to be an agent that helps reduce the chances for colon cancer development. The high calcium found in milk, cheese, and yogurt have been seen to decrease the rate of excessive colon cell growth and reduces the chance of polyp growth in the colon associated with colon cancer (McKinley 270-271).

McKinley, Michelle. A new health promotion message for dairy- the 3-A-Day Campaign. British Nutrition Foundation. 28(4) 369-372. 2003.

5. Milk aids in dental health

Via "Your Teeth Are Your Biggest Reason To Smile". Freedom Channel. 2016. freedomchannel.com

Dairy products even provide us with simple health benefits such as increased dental health. Many professionals place milk with as high of a beverage importance and safety to dental health as water. There are high levels of ions such as calcium and phosphate in milk and other dairy products that help prevent demineralisation of tooth enamel thus protecting teeth from many common and undesirable dental diseases. Milk proteins also form a thin layer on enamel surfaces that help to protect teeth (McKinley 371). Next time you go to the dentist ask if they know of or promote these wonderful benefits dairy has for your dental health.

McKinley, Michelle. A new health promotion message for dairy- the 3-A-Day Campaign. British Nutrition Foundation. 28(4) 369-372. 2003.

6. The miracle of dairy

Via "Milk, Cheese, Yogurt" Milk Means More. 2016. milkmeansmore.org

Besides the fact that dairy products are delicious, they provide a whole list of health benefits and reasons why everyone should have their three servings a day. There are so many more benefits to the consumption of dairy products than what's just listed above that will allow everyone to appreciate what they're doing for their health next time they enjoy a delicious glass of milk, cup of yogurt, or piece of cheese.

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