The National Dairy Council's dietary guidelines for Americans identified seven key nutrients that fall short in adult diets, and five nutrients that fall short in children's diets. Dairy foods, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt supply four of the seven nutrients of concern for adults: calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A; and three of the five nutrients of concern for children: calcium, magnesium, potassium.
Milk and dairy foods naturally provide essential nutrients including calcium, protein,
phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin A, vitamin B12, magnesium and niacin. Studies
show dairy foods, when consumed as part of a healthy diet, improve overall diet quality and
may help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis,
hypertension, obesity, kidney stones
and colon cancer.
Dairy foods are the best – and most abundant – natural source of dietary calcium available to Americans. In fact, dairy foods provide nearly 72 percent of the calcium in our nation's food supply.
Gerrior SL, et al. Nutrient Content of the U.S. Food Supply, 1909-2000. Home Economics Research Report No. 56. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. November 2004.