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Health Benefits of Milk

A glass of milk contains three of the four nutrients that USDA deems under-consumed by most Americans—calcium, vitamin D and potassium. Thus, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that individuals ages 9 and older consume three servings of milk, cheese or yogurt each day; those 4 – 8 years should consume 2-1/2 cups each day. One serving of milk is one 8-ounce cup.

Milk is an important component of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet designed to reduce the risk of high blood pressure. This diet, which includes three servings a day of low-fat and fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese, and 8 to 10 servings daily of fruits and vegetables, has also been shown to reduce other risk factors for heart disease.

Milk produced in California abides by higher nutritional standards, exceeding the federal standards for protein, calcium and other nutrients. California milk producers accomplish this by fortifying milk with nonfat milk solids, which improves taste and adds additional nutritional benefits. This is important in bridging nutrient shortfalls, specifically calcium, which is especially important among our children and adolescent population. Specific levels of nutrients in California milk can be found by contacting the manufacturer or by reading the label.

There are no sugars added to fat-free, low-fat, reduced-fat or whole milk. The sugars listed in the tables below refer to the natural sugars (primarily lactose) found in milk. The nutrient content of chocolate and other flavored milks is similar to that of unflavored milk with the addition of sugar or a sugar substitute. If sugar or high-fructose corn syrup is used, it generally adds about 13 grams of sugars (about 60 calories) per cup.

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