June is Dairy Month
We are excited here in Wisconsin as it is June Dairy month. We had nearly 6,000 people attend our county June Dairy Month Breakfast on the Farm, held on Sunday, May 31st at one of our family owned dairy farms. Our dairy producers do a great job of producing high quality milk. Much of this milk is used to produce cheese.
Wisconsin is the fourth largest cheese-producing region in the world. Specialty cheese production accounts for 22 percent of Wisconsin’s cheese production and 46 percent of total U.S. specialty cheese production. Wisconsin cheesemakers in 2015 captured 59 percent of all awards presented at the United States Championship Cheese Contest.
Whether you are consuming cheese, milk, yogurt or other dairy products, there are many health benefits. Foods in the Dairy Group provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. These nutrients include calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein.
o Calcium is used for building bones and teeth and in maintaining bone mass. Dairy products are the primary source of calcium in American diets. Diets that provide 3 cups or the equivalent of dairy products per day can improve bone mass.
o Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Dairy products, especially yogurt, fluid milk, and soymilk (soy beverage), provide potassium.
o Vitamin D functions in the body to maintain proper levels of calcium and phosphorous, thereby helping to build and maintain bones. Milk and soymilk (soy beverage) that are fortified with vitamin D are good sources of this nutrient. Other sources include vitamin D-fortified yogurt and vitamin D-fortified ready-to-eat breakfast cereals.
o Milk products that are consumed in their low-fat or fat-free forms provide little or no solid fat.
o Intake of dairy products is linked to improved bone health, and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
o The intake of dairy products is especially important to bone health during childhood and adolescence, when bone mass is being built.
o Intake of dairy products is also associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, and with lower blood pressure in adults.