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The 5 “Pros” Of Protein In Dairy Milk

Whether straight from the glass, over cereal or alongside your favorite five-alarm chili, there are many good reasons to choose dairy milk. Along with vitamins and minerals, each 8-ounce glass offers eight satisfying grams of complete protein, an important step towards meeting the daily protein goals necessary for good health. 

Milk is a protein powerhouse

A few other facts you should know:

  • #1: Not All Proteins Are The Same. If your diet doesn’t include complete, high-quality protein then you may be missing out on key benefits. Dairy milk is a complete source, meaning it contains essential amino acids – the “building blocks” of protein – that our bodies need. The protein in most nut or plant-based milk substitutes is incomplete, meaning it's lacking in these essential amino acids. And since your body can’t produce essential amino acids on its own, it has to come from the choices you make in your daily diet - like dairy milk.
  • #2: Fuel From Day One. Everyone from newborns to seniors need milk. Active, growing kids need protein to grow healthy and strong, and to build lean muscle, bones and teeth. Adults need protein for optimal health and to preserve muscle mass. And as we age, protein helps prevent osteoporosis and supports muscle mass, two problems in the elderly.
  • #3: Protein Satisfies. Protein helps slow digestion, so you eat less but still feel satisfied, which leads to more lean muscle and less body fat. More good news: 14 clinical studies found that people who eat three or more servings of dairy a day lost more weight than those who ate less. Research also suggests that eating more protein early in the day can have added benefits. As part of your breakfast, dairy milk is a smart choice, providing the highest amount of protein among popular breakfast foods.
  • #4: The Milk Bone Connection. The protein in milk, along with calcium and vitamin D, helps build strong bones, hair and teeth — without artificial additives or added sugars. That’s important whatever your age. Bonus fact: dairy milk is one of the only dietary sources of vitamin D, which our bodies typically create by absorbing sunlight.
  • #5: A Milk For Every Body. No matter what your flavor preference — from skim to whole, full-fat or organic–there’s a dairy milk variety available for you. What’s more, a glass of dairy milk contains nine important nutrients and costs on the average just 25¢.

Dairy: Some of Nature's Best Work

Dairy foods are an affordable, convenient and delicious way to stay healthy. The American Dietary Guidelines recommend two to three servings of dairy a day. Not surprising, given dairy's ability to lower blood pressure, boost bone health and fight infection. Dairy foods are also great for adding delicious variety, taste and texture to your meals. But don't trust your taste buds alone. Your right brain will love these numbers too.

  • Dairy Milk: An 8-ounce cup of milk is packed with 8g of protein and has 30% of the Recommended Daily Allowance of calcium, 26% of riboflavin, 25% of vitamin D and phosphorus, 22% of vitamin B12, 11% of potassium and 10% of the RDA of vitamin A and niacin.
  • Cheese: Along with probiotic bacteria for gut health, delicious and versatile cheese offers important nutrients. A single ounce of Cheddar cheese has 7g protein and 20% of the RDA of calcium, 15% of phosphorus, and 6% of vitamin A and riboflavin.
  • Yogurt: Highly nutritious, yogurt also adds beneficial probiotics to your diet. A 6-ounce serving offers 20% of the RDA of calcium and phosphorus, 17% of protein, 25% of riboflavin, 40% of vitamin B12, 20% of pantothenic acid, and 15% of zinc.

Where Milk Gets Its Superpowers

Every 8-ounce glass of dairy milk has nine essential nutrients that support good health. Let’s dive deeper to better understand the benefits:

  • Eight Grams of High-Quality Protein: A natural source of complete protein, milk helps build strong bones, tissues, lean muscles and more. Your body can’t store protein, so it’s important to get the right amount daily for optimal health.
  • Excellent Source of Calcium: The body doesn’t produce calcium, so it “borrows” it from the bones to replace what is lost through normal bodily functions. A glass of milk offers 30 percent of the RDA of this important mineral, the same amount you’d find in 7 cups of raw broccoli.
  • As Much Potassium as a Small Banana: Each glass of milk offers 11 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance of potassium, which regulates fluid balance and helps maintain healthy blood pressure. Low levels of potassium are associated with muscle cramps, weakness and fatigue.
  • Excellent Source of Riboflavin: Riboflavin helps convert food into energy and supports healthy cell growth and function. A glass has 25% of the RDA of vitamin B.
  • Good Source of Vitamin A: Needed to maintain a healthy immune system and keep eyes and skin healthy, each serving of milk offers 10% of the RDA of Vitamin A.
  • An Excellent Source of Vitamin D: Known as the “Sunshine Vitamin,” a serving has 30% of the RDA of vitamin D, which helps build and maintain strong bones and can protect older adults from osteoporosis. The only vitamin your body makes from sunlight, low levels of Vitamin D have been linked to depression.
  • Ten Percent of the Recommended Amount of Niacin: Vitamin B3 (niacin) supports heart health by boosting “good” cholesterol levels and lowering “bad” cholesterol, and helps convert food into energy.
  • An Excellent Source of B12: Your body can’t make or store this important vitamin, which helps maintain healthy red blood cells and nerve tissue, and builds DNA.
  • An Excellent Source of Phosphorus: Phosphorus works with calcium and vitamin D to help maintain bone health and to help the body generate energy. One serving of milk has 25 percent of the recommended daily intake of phosphorus, about the same you’d find in a cup of kidney beans.

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