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Dear Dairy

Filed Under: Health Foods at 10:18 am | By: Susan Coyle, Contributing Columnist
Swiss CheeseIf I were to ever seriously consider becoming a vegan, my biggest obstacle would be the removal of dairy. Without milk, cheese and yogurt, I would be woefully lost.  It mixes with my granola in the morning, flavors my tea throughout the day and finds itself on any number of sandwiches, salads and side dishes at lunch and dinner. I love it, and fortunately, it loves me (and all the other dairy darlings of the world) right back.

A study of nearly 29,000 women found that those who ate the most low-fat dairy products were the least likely to develop high blood pressure.  In fact, their risk was 11 percent lower than those who consumed the smallest amount. Researchers attributed much of the benefit to dairy’s calcium, but that doesn’t mean that calcium in any form will produce the same effect. High-fat dairy products – whole milk, full-fat cheese – didn’t prevent hypertension, most likely because of the . . . fat.

When you’re shopping for dairy, you want to lean towards the leaner products, and you also want to consider adding yogurt to your cart (if it’s not there already). Yogurt, unlike milk and cheese, results in better periodontal health.  It has lactic acid in it, which has probiotics (good bacteria), thus making it a nutritionist’s dream come true and a must-have in your cart. So add it and then, have some fun in the dairy aisle. Try new cheeses (feta, Gouda, goat); try new flavors (strawberry, mixed berry, lemon); and try to contain yourself as you bubble over with dairy delight.

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