There is a common thought about dairy consumption, thinking that it is essential during the first years of life, that is, when children are young, first with breast milk or formula, and then with other dairy products. Then, as it grows, it tends to begin to neglect the consumption of this food group more, because it goes without saying that dairy is not only milk, but a lot of other products that derive from them. However, this is just a custom that has been adopted without any basis or medical indication, since in reality it is important to continue reinforcing the consumption of them throughout life, because this is a food group that provides us with numerous health benefits. And throughout this post it is them that we want to talk to you about, what it is for, why it is good and what are the benefits of consuming dairy.

Dairy, benefits

As we said at the beginning of this writing, dairy is a food group that derives from milk, and therefore it is not only milk, and all of these are gathered in the same group because they share similar nutritional compounds, which are what explain the properties and benefits that these foods have for people’s health.

So when we talk about dairy, we talk about all the foods that derive from milk, regardless of the type of milk involved, which can be cow, sheep, etc.

Among the nutritional principles that this group of foods usually have, vitamins, from group A, D and C, in addition to proteins, fats, carbohydrates and minerals, stand out. Regarding the latter, it is where the benefit of dairy is best known, because it is known that it is a source of calcium, but not only this, but it has other minerals such as potassium or iron, especially in those products that they are fortified.

Based on these active principles, it is that all the benefits that dairy has for health are assembled, and even more, its necessity in the daily diet.

Why consume dairy?

One of the main benefits and why it is often stressed that people should include dairy in their diet has to do with its benefits for bone health, that is, to have strong and healthy bones. This is because it is a source of calcium, but in addition to vitamin D, which is essential for calcium to be fixed.

In addition, thanks to the presence of this mineral, dairy products are good for regulating gastric acidity. But pay attention at this point because not all of them can be good for this, because mature cheeses are rich in calcium but also in fat, and this can generate irritation in the stomach lining, that is why in this case the consumption of low-fat spreadable white cheeses.

On the other hand, this group of foods is good for having a healthy body weight, because calcium, again the star mineral of this group, along with other hormonal compounds, such as exorphins, which collaborate in the control of anxiety. and appetite.

Another of their benefits has to do with the fact that they collaborate in the regulation of high blood pressure, known as hypertension. This is because they are generally foods with little sodium content, leaving aside the ripe cheeses that are recommended to be removed from the diet especially in those cases in which people suffer from high blood pressure.

Along the same lines, they are also good for cholesterol problems. This is because they help in controlling the concentration of cholesterol in the blood, be it bad and in its entirety. This is explained by the presence of plant phytosterols in this food group that help these fats in the body reduce their proportion. From this it derives then that it helps to avoid the appearance of cardiovascular problems. Here it is necessary to clarify that when it comes to a person who has dyslipidemia, we must pay attention to the type of dairy added in the diet, opting for skimmed, low-fat and white cheeses, skimmed yogurts, etc.

Importance of Dairy in Older Adults

At the beginning of this writing, we were talking about the general tendency of people to neglect dairy consumption as people grow older. However, this neglect does not correspond to a lack of need. On the contrary, dairy is essential to take care of health and avoid suffering from chronic diseases. It should not be ignored that it is only in the elderly that maximum bone mass is achieved, and that is why it is essential to meet the nutritional needs of calcium, vitamin D -to fix it- and proteins, to avoid suffering from osteoporosis in old age.

In the particular case of women, after menopause, there is a lack of estrogen and this prevents the absorption and use of calcium, being the fundamental factor that intervenes in the appearance of osteoporosis in elderly women. What’s more, incorporating the necessary doses is best for pharmacological and hormonal methods of treating this disease.

In advanced adulthood, the consumption of dairy products is very important and should not be neglected, because it has a high nutritional percentage, incorporating minerals, vitamins and energy into the body that helps in its adequate hydration as well as in raising its defenses. In addition, as it is a source of potassium, it is good for regulating pressure and thus preventing the appearance of cardiovascular problems. We must not forget that it also incorporates proteins, that these in relation to osteoporosis are very important, because the low presence of this nutritional element in the body is related to this disease and with a high rate of bone fractures.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that the calcium with the highest absorption is the one found in dairy products, especially in the case of milk. That is why what is advised is to incorporate dairy portions three times a day, in order to adequately meet the nutritional needs of this mineral.

Finally, it is worth mentioning the necessity of the presence of this group of foods in the diet throughout life. Briefly, we must remember that after the age of 11, the body’s need for calcium increases considerably, because it is the pre-pubertal growth stage, where the body has many changes to face. In addition, in this group of foods, we find a whole series of nutritional components that are essential for good mental and physical development, especially important during childhood and adolescence.

So you know, consuming dairy does not imply the consumption of milk only, but we are talking about a huge amount of foods, among them we mention the different types of cheeses, yogurts, in addition to milk, which provide numerous nutrients to the body. Do not leave them aside!

Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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