This post was written while participating in my partnership with the National Dairy Council, but, as always, all opinions are my own.
Why am I such a huge advocate for milk? It’s a fair question. I’ve written a lot about my family’s generations-old, love affair with all things dairy. But in addition to all that here’s why.
Some Americans are not getting the three daily servings of dairy foods recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans because they are reducing their consumption of dairy foods due to concerns about lactose intolerance. Unfortunately, this can result in a lower intake of milk’s nine essential nutrients, including calcium and vitamin D. And so, health and nutrition authorities – including the National Medical Association and a National Institutes of Health (NIH) expert panel – recommend individuals with lactose intolerance try to keep dairy in the diet. Lactose-free milk, for instance, is a great way to keep dairy in your life as it is real dairy and a great source of essential calcium, protein, vitamins A and D and other nutrients.
Next, Hispanic Americans, on average, consume less than the current recommended 3-4 servings of low-fat milk and milk products a day.* These are my people, my community! I’m concerned about their not getting sufficient amounts of these essential nutrients each day.
Now, if you are avoiding milk because of a concern about lactose intolerance, here are a few strategies that may work for you in order to keep dairy in both your diet, and the diets of those you love, while avoiding losing all those great nutrients that come with delicious milk, creamy yogurt and flavorful cheese.
1. Consume dairy foods, like milk, yogurt, and cheese with other foods such as soups or cereal and in smaller amounts throughout the day. The same applies when preparing our favorite traditional beverages and foods like chocolate, café con leche, horchata, flan, arroz con leche or tres leches cake, eating them with solid foods helps slow digestion and allows the body more time to digest lactose.
2. Eat aged or natural cheeses such as Cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella and Swiss which contain lesser amounts of lactose.
3. Eat yogurt. Yogurts with live, active cultures include cultures which digest lactose and a cup of yogurt has about a third less lactose than a cup of milk.
4. Try lactose-free milk. It is real milk and contains the same nine essential nutrients found in regular milk.
With these easy to follow tips, let’s see if we can get most everyone in our community up to the recommended 3-4 servings of milk and milk products each day, so all our families can be sure they are getting the essential nutrients they need.
Do you have someone in your family who is lactose intolerant? Find out all kinds of great information about managing lactose intolerance here.
Please read Mama Latina Tips’ General Health Disclaimer. The contents of this post, and all Mama Latina Tips posts, are meant for informational or entertainment purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or safety advice.