Only 1 in 1000 women reading this are getting their 4 serves.
Most people in the Starts at 60 community would probably own up to the fact that they don’t get enough dairy.
But according to recently-released ABS statistics, almost none of us do. It turns out only 0.1% of women over 50 are getting their recommended daily intake from the dairy food group. In fact, according to research from Dairy Australia, only 4% are aware they need 4 or more serves in the first place.
Today we’d like to ask our readers some very important questions:
Are you getting enough dairy each day?
Are you aware of the daily recommendations for your age and gender?
And if not, what’s holding you back?
Take the time to give yourself an honest answer. It could prove incredibly important to your long-term quality of life.
As we get older, our nutritional needs become far greater. Our bone density begins to decline, potentially leading to diseases such as osteoporosis, and in turn, a far greater risk of pains and fractures. The calcium in dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt, can go a long way in preventing the worst.
Amber Beaumont, a Dietitian at Dairy Australia, says women are affected by these changes earlier than they might think.
“Once women hit 50, their calcium requirements jump,” she says. “This is due to a decline in the hormone oestrogen around this age, which results in increased bone loss.
“Calcium is a key building block for bones, so boosting your calcium intake helps to maintain bone strength.
However, some small dietary adjustments – alongside regular exercise and vitamin D – can go a long way to maintaining your bone health. And it’s nowhere near as daunting as it can seem.
“Dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yoghurt are the richest sources of calcium in the diet. Eating 4 serves every day will ensure women over 50 get the calcium their bodies need.”
Men remain at a suggested 2 ½ servings per day until the age of 70, after which it jumps to a recommended 3 ½ serves.
While there are dairy alternatives and calcium supplements on the market, Ms. Beaumont says they simply don’t stack up to dairy foods.
“Milk, cheese and yoghurt give your body much more than calcium. They provide a package of other nutrients needed for good health”, she says, “including high quality protein which becomes increasingly important with age to maintain lean muscle for strength, balance and mobility.”
“Even if you’ve been diagnosed with lactose intolerance, you can still enjoy dairy foods. Most people can tolerate 250ml of milk spread across the day and consumed with meals. Hard cheeses contain virtually no lactose and yoghurt has good bacteria which helps to digest the lactose. There are also a range of lactose-free milks available.”
How many serves of dairy do you get each day? What’s one thing you could do today to increase your dairy intake? Leave a comment below.
For more information on your dairy requirements – and great recipe ideas and meal planners to help you get started – simply follow the links below.
This community conversation is sponsored by Dairy Australia. For more information on how dairy can help your long-term health, please visit the Legendairy website.