Dairy can be part of a healthy diet, but it’s not essential

Although the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends three servings of dairy a day, it’s fine to eat less, according to Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

In an October 28, 2021 Consumer Reports article, he said that just one serving of dairy was a good daily target, and recommended yogurt for its probiotic properties. He also said that eating yogurt may have a modest benefit for weight control.

The article also suggested that those who are consuming only one or two daily servings of dairy don’t need to worry about its fat content—in fact, opting for fat-free might backfire because people often compensate by eating more carbohydrates. Those who choose plant-based milk should watch out for added sugars, according to the article—and if not consuming any dairy, add other sources of calcium and vitamin D such as kale, broccoli, tofu, nuts, and fatty fish.

Read the Consumer Reports article: Is Dairy Good For You?