NSW dairy group Dairy Connect has welcomed new dietary guidelines from the United States that confirm the importance of dairy.
The newly released 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) have confirmed dairy’s role in delivering first-rate human health and nutrition benefits, Dairy Connect CEO Shaughn Morgan said.
Dairy’s contribution was reinforced throughout the DGA document as a core, nutrient-dense food group that helped humans achieve and maintain good health and reduce the risk of chronic disease throughout life.
Dairy maintained its own food group and the recommendation for three daily servings for Americans aged 9 years and older was maintained in the guideline’s Healthy US-Style and Healthy Vegetarian dietary patterns.
Mr Morgan said dairy’s contribution under the guidelines was explained last week in detail by of America’s National Dairy Council global chief science officer Dr Gregory Miller.
Dr Miller said the DGA was the cornerstone of official government guidance on dietary recommendations across human lifespans.
“In fact, the federal feeding programs resulted in 10.7 billion pounds of milk, 684 million pounds of cheese and 662 million pounds of yogurt and other dairy foods in fiscal year 2019,” he said.
“Historically the DGA has included guidance for healthy individuals aged two years and older.
“Now for the first time, the DGA provides recommendations for pregnancy and lactation and from birth to 23 months – and dairy plays a role in these life stages, too.”
Dr. Miller said the DGA report focused on public health, which aligned with National Dairy Council’s commitment to peer-reviewed research on dairy’s contributions to health and nutrition.
“The importance of helping people strive to follow the recommendations in the DGA during the various stages of life has been brought into focus with COVID-19, as people living with diet-related chronic conditions and diseases are at an increased risk,” he said.
“Everyone, no matter their age, race, ethnicity, economic circumstances or health status can benefit from shifting food and beverage choices to promote improved health and reduce risk of chronic disease.
“The DGA reiterates that healthy eating patterns, which include low-fat and fat-free dairy – milk, cheese and yoghurt – are associated with beneficial outcomes for all.”
The DGA reinforces dairy foods as unique and beneficial to healthy eating patterns along with vegetables, fruits, whole grains and other nutrient-rich foods.
Dr Miller said the DGA acknowledged dairy for its nutrition and health benefits.
“The DGA reinforces dairy foods as unique and beneficial to healthy eating patterns along with vegetables, fruits, whole grains and other nutrient-rich foods,” he said.
“About 90 per cent of Americans fall short on meeting the recommended daily dairy servings.
“We know that the nutrients in dairy foods can be hard to replace with other foods for a similar calorie level and at a comparable affordability, which is why it is important to help people eat the recommend daily servings of dairy.
“Milk, cheese and yogurt not only taste great, but are nutrient-rich, affordable, readily available and adaptable to cultural preferences – making dairy foods realistic options to help people build healthier meal plans.
“There also are lactose-free and lower lactose options to meet the dietary needs of those with lactose intolerance.
“The DGA maintained the recommended 10pc or less of calories from saturated fat, which was important given the checkoff continues to invest in science on dairy at all fat levels related to health and reduced risk of disease.”
Dr. Miller said the shift to more fat flexibility in the dairy group was already happening based on consumer purchasing behaviour.
“According to Information Resources, Inc. data as of June 2020, 70pc of households purchased whole milk from June 2019 to June 2020, the highest of any fat level for milk,” he said.
“In 2020, whole-milk held a 41pc share, the largest of any fat level.”
A copy of the 2020 – 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is available at https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/sites/default/files/2020-12/Dietary_Guidelines_for_Americans_2020-2025.pdf.
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