Science Summary: Dairy in Healthy Eating Plans

Dairy foods, such as milk, cheese and yogurt, are foundational foods included in multiple eating patterns, including the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan, eating patterns recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA) and guidelines from the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

There are many reasons why dairy is included in these healthy eating plans. Dairy foods help meet nutrient needs and are associated with better bone health, especially in children and adolescents. Healthy eating patterns containing low-fat or fat-free dairy foods are also associated with lower risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Dairy foods can be affordable sources of key nutrients – including high-quality protein, calcium, potassium and vitamin D – and are available in a variety of options to help meet taste, health and wellness needs.

You can download our full report, "Science Summary: Dairy in Healthy Eating Plans," to learn more about how you can enjoy the many benefits dairy provides.