Understanding and Communicating Protein Recommendations

Posted by Gregory Miller, PhD, FACN @ 8:06 AM


Through the years, the media has widely communicated that “Americans eat more than enough protein” – and to some degree, they’re right.

Though protein deficiency is rare in the U.S., it is important to recognize that some people may benefit from higher protein meal plans. That was the message nutrition experts delivered at the 2013 Protein Summit in published proceedings this spring. A growing body of scientific evidence documents the benefits of eating higher protein amounts approximately twice the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), but well within the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR), as part of a healthy diet for weight management and preservation of lean body mass and functional ability with age. As a reminder the RDA is an estimate of adequate consumption, but additional protein consumption may be recommended for some individuals in order to promote optimal health.


The quality of protein is as important as protein quantity. High-quality protein provides all the essential amino acids your body can’t make on its own. Animal protein sources like meat, eggs and dairy foods are good examples of high quality protein. Since most plant proteins do not provide significant amounts of all of the essential amino acids the body needs, a variety of them are often needed. Read the rest of this entry »

Diabetes in Youth: Moving Toward Wellness

Posted by Judith Jarvis, MS, RDN @ 7:00 AM


“Type 2 diabetes used to be considered an ‘adult disease,’” said Dr. Jane Chiang, senior vice president of Medical Affairs at the American Diabetes Association (ADA). “But that’s no longer the case. Each year, there are 5,000 new cases of Type 2 diabetes in youth.”

In 2009, it was estimated that more than 20,000 individuals age 20 and younger were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes (T2D). Experts believe the increased prevalence of T2D in youth is primarily due to the dramatic increase in childhood obesity over the last three decades.

November is National Diabetes Month. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, mother, and grandmother, I’ve been thinking about the thousands of children and teens that are diagnosed with T2D, and what we can do to help them. Here are a few tips that dietitians and other health professionals can use as we work with parents and youth:

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Wanted: Partnerships Making Sustainable Changes in Their Community

Posted by Jean Ragalie-Carr, RDN, LDN, FAND @ 7:51 AM


Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success. ─ Henry Ford

Imagine what it takes to grow a thriving tomato plant. It all starts with a seed planted in quality soil. The gardener tends to it by providing it with water, a bit of food and adequate sunlight, which allows it to grow and flourish. The reward is a great bounty of tomatoes that can be enjoyed by many. Much like how the tomato plant thrives with this diverse support, successful partnerships take some finessing and hard work to fully develop.

In fact, many partnership “seeds” have been planted and are making positive impacts in the areas of child health and wellness, food insecurity relief and environmental stewardship across the country. To celebrate the bounty of these community partnerships, we are seeking nominations for the 2016 Outstanding Achievement in Community Partnerships Award from the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.

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How Does Milk Help Nourish Children Living with Food Insecurity?

Posted by Lisa Mays, MPH, RD @ 7:56 AM


Childhood is a critical time for growth and development, and food insecurity can greatly impact a child’s health and well-being throughout his or her life. Thankfully, milk can play a role in the solution.

Some studies have shown that children who live with food insecurity are at greater risk of obesity. Food insecurity has been associated with hypertension and diabetes in adults. Food insecure families may struggle to provide their children with all of the nutrients they need for growth and development and milk is the number one food source of nine essential nutrients for American kids.

During the 2014/2015 school year, generous support from the Idaho Dairy Council and other donors helped The Idaho Foodbank organization include milk in our Backpack, School Pantry and Picnic in the Park programs: Read the rest of this entry »

5 Tips to Reduce Food Waste, Starting in the Fridge

Posted by Jean Ragalie-Carr, RDN, LDN, FAND @ 7:13 AM


National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day serves up a nice opportunity to discuss a topic I am passionate about: food waste. This issue continues to be of great interest among the health and wellness community, as you have read on The Dairy Report and beyond. It’s a challenge that we encounter daily on a global and local level.

Each year, Americans toss out 80 billion pounds of food, most of which is not recovered and can end up in landfills. Per person, this breaks down to over 250 pounds of food wasted each year. When I think about the natural resources (land, water, and more) used to help grow the wasted food, it is mind boggling, especially because 1 in 6 people in America are food insecure.

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Milk and Heart Disease: What the Scientific Evidence Tells Us

Posted by Disha Gandhi @ 7:00 AM


Milk is an essential component of my delicious Indian masala chai I drink every morning. Milk enhances the flavor and provides important nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D. Knowing how well milk pairs with various foods and beverages, I was surprised to learn that milk consumption has been steadily declining from 28.6 gallons per person per year in 1975 to 20.9 gallons per person per year in 2010.

In fact, many people do not get the recommended three daily servings of milk and dairy products. Some even choose this eating pattern on purpose because they falsely believe that dairy foods are not good for them. Thus, I wanted to examine milk consumption and its impact on cardiovascular disease (CVD) since it is a major public health concern.


As you may know, about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack annually and about 610,000 people die from heart disease every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Given these overwhelming statistics and that diet is one factor associated with heart disease, as health and wellness professionals, we need to address how different foods may impact CVD.  Read the rest of this entry »

How Do You Answer: Should Kids Drink Milk?

Posted by Mickey Rubin, PhD @ 7:01 AM


With all of the options and misinformation available, clients may come to you every now and then with the question: Should kids drink milk? Here’s how I would approach forming an answer grounded in the body of science:

1. Milk is recommended by health and wellness organizations and experts for children and adolescents.

Milk’s unique nutrient package delivers essential nutrients that are important for children during growth and development. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans reported that moderate evidence shows that consumption of milk and milk products is linked to improved bone health, particularly in children and adolescents. This led to the current recommendation that children and adolescents:

  • Ages 9-18 years consume 3 cups per day
  • Ages 4-8 years consume 2.5 cups per day
  • Ages 2-3 consume 2 cups per day

It was also noted in these recommendations that it is especially important to establish the habit of drinking milk in young children, as those who drink milk at an early age are more likely to do so as adults. Read the rest of this entry »

A 3-Step ‘Whey’ to Help Maintain Muscle with Aging

Posted by Matthew Pikosky, PhD, RD, FACN @ 8:13 AM


Many of your clients may think muscle loss is only something they need to worry about later in life. However, data show the progressive loss of muscle (3 to 8 percent per decade) can begin as early as the 30s or 40s.

Maintaining adequate or optimal muscle mass is important to support well being and daily activity for healthy aging. While some loss of muscle is inevitable, there are things we can encourage our clients to do to help minimize this loss and support healthy aging:

  1. Participate in regular resistance exercise
  2. Maximize the value of dietary

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Nutrition Research Bias: Dig Deeper than the Funding Source

Posted by Mickey Rubin, PhD @ 7:24 AM


I recently read an interesting blog post by Dr. Marion Nestle on industry-funded nutrition research, in which a sample of five studies/papers sponsored by industry were selected, all showing favorable outcomes. Although none of the papers selected were sponsored by National Dairy Council, there is one dairy industry-sponsored review paper on the list. What struck me was the assumption that because these papers were sponsored by industry and showed a favorable outcome, that industry bias was at hand and the results might not be accurate.

The topic of multiple sources of bias in nutrition research was recently discussed at the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) scientific sessions. What is clear is that bias does occur in science, not only nutrition science but in all science. However, it is important to consider all types of bias in evaluating science, and a focus just on potential industry bias may make us lose sight of other ways in which bias may infiltrate research.

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Thinking of Bringing the Farm to Your School? Here are Some Tips for Digging in!

Posted by Maggie Gosselin @ 6:55 AM


When the air gets crisper and the apples sweeter, those at the USDA Farm to School Program know a celebration is in order. Not because it’s fall, but because it’s National Farm to School Month! Every October, we spend the month reflecting on how farm to school programs work for kids, farmers and communities.

If you’ve never heard of farm to school programs before, they are about serving food grown by local farmers through the school meal programs (like the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs) and teaching students about where their food comes from. For students, farm to school activities include eating delicious local meals in the cafeteria; growing, tasting and learning about food in the school garden; visiting local farms; participating in hands-on cooking lessons; and engaging in lessons about nutrition and agriculture in the classroom. As Fuel Up to Play 60’s (FUTP60) Farm to School play shows, many FUTP60 schools and Student Ambassadors are already engaged.

Students often play a key role in spearheading farm to school efforts. If you are interested in helping to start a program in your school or district we’ve got some tips for where to start: Read the rest of this entry »