How important is dairy in the USDA MyPlate recommendations?

Marilyn Tanner-Blasiar
Nutrition & Dietetics
Dairy foods are nutrient rich foods that package several nutrients that we all need. These nutrients include Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Potassium, Phosphorus, Protein, Vitamin B 12, Riboflavin and Niacin. Low fat dairy products that keep their calcium content are included in this group -- such as cheese, puddings, and some ice creams. Just remember that the sweetened products do have those calories that count towards daily "empty calories" (fats and sugars that have calories and minimal if any nutrients). The nutrient rich package of dairy foods have a place at your plate.
Very important! The circle shape next to the plate in the above is a visual reminder to make sure that fat-free and low-fat dairy foods, such as milk should not be forgotten at mealtimes.

Lean dairy products are rich in calcium, a mineral many Americans are following short of in their diets. The current recommendation for adults is to consume three servings of nonfat or low dairy daily to meet their calcium needs.
MyPlate, USDA's food pyramid

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.