Some dairy foods offer more health benefits than others. Which ones should you look to?
Osteoporosis can be a preventable condition, given proper attention to nutritional and lifestyle factors that may affect development of the disease.
While a number of nutrients are crucial, dairy foods have been considered important for proper bone health. According to recent research, however, not all dairy foods are created equal when it comes to preventing osteoporosis.
Researchers at the Institute for Aging Research, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, have found that 2.5 to 3 servings of dairy milk or yogurt can be associated with higher bone mineral density (BMD) in the hip (but not the spine). These dairy options contain high amounts of nutrients such as protein, calcium, and vitamin D. On the other hand, cream and other cream related products, such as ice cream, have lower levels of nutrients and higher levels of fat and sugar. In fact, cream intake may be associated with lower BMD overall.
More research needs to be done to examine the role of cheese intake, which may contain high amounts of fat and sodium.
According to the study’s press release, 10 million in the US are estimated to have osteoporosis, while a further 34 million Americans have low bone density, increasing the risk for the disease and fractures—especially in the hip, spine, and wrists.