Milk Packs Protein Power...and More!

Milk Packs Protein Power...and More!
Sue Mah

By: Sue Mah

Registered Dietitian,
in collaboration with Dairy Farmers of Canada

Milk and milk products are one of the few delicious foods that contain an impressive list of nutrients in significant amounts. Canada's Food Guide recommends that we enjoy two to four servings of milk and alternatives every day depending on our age.

A serving is:

  • 250 mL (1 cup) milk
  • 175 g (¾ cup) yogurt or kefir
  • 50 g (1½ oz or about 2 slices) cheese
  • 125 mL (1/2 cup) grated cheese

Unfortunately, 2/3 of Canadians aren't getting enough and are missing out on essential nutrients.

Counting the benefits

Nutritionally, milk and milk products like yogurt, cheese and kefir are excellent choices. Milk products contain up to 16 vitamins and minerals. Wondering what they are? Here's the complete list:

  1. Protein
  2. Calcium
  3. Vitamin D
  4. Vitamin A
  5. Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
  6. Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  7. Vitamin B3 (niacin)
  8. Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
  9. Vitamin B6
  10. Vitamin B12
  11. Folate
  12. Magnesium
  13. Phosphorus
  14. Potassium
  15. Selenium
  16. Zinc

Each of these nutrients has important functions in our body. For example, you probably already know that calcium plays a key role in building healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin D, vitamin A, phosphorus and magnesium all work together to help calcium to do this job. The various B vitamins and folate help produce red blood cells and different tissues (such as skin, muscles and bones) to ensure proper growth. Potassium helps your nerves and muscles work, zinc helps convert food into energy, and selenium is an antioxidant.

Protein Power - all day long

Milk and milk products offer high-quality protein that is used to build and repair tissue, and produce antibodies needed for a strong immune system. Protein also plays a key role in keeping your energy levels up, steadying blood sugar levels, and preventing hunger between meals. Try to include protein at meals and snack. Here are a few easy ways to add protein power to your meals (the protein-containing foods are bolded).

Try it yourself! Add protein to each of your meals and notice the change in your appetite and energy level!


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