Does Plant-Based Mean Better for You?

Is your vision of a plant-based diet limited to fruits, vegetables and whole grains? Have you considered that by ditching dairy and pitching out lean proteins, you’ve effectively cut out two of the five food groups you need every day? You may have heard that “plants only” is better for your health, but that simply isn’t true.  

Share the Plate

Plant-forward and plant-based diets don’t need to exclude animal foods all together. You can embrace the benefits of more plant foods while still enjoying dairy foods. Dairy foods are nutrient-rich and great tasting. They should remain a key piece of your remade plate.

Embrace the Science

A recent study revealed that when people ate diets that contained only plant-based foods, a greater number of nutrients fell below recommended levels – most notably calcium, vitamins A and D, and B12. Another study found that people were much closer to getting the nutrients they need when they ate a mix of plant foods and dairy foods. So, it isn’t giving up dairy that will improve your health. Focus instead on how to make the right plate with a mix of all these foods. Along with supporting good nutrition, dairy farmers also support a healthy environment.

Balanced Solutions

MyPlate is your guide to eating healthy now and in the future. That’s crucial because healthy eating is one of the most powerful tools we have to reduce the onset of disease. Choosing the right foods helps to prevent chronic diseases, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. These foods include milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products.

Looking for benefits beyond great nutrition? Look to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Eating Plan. Originally developed to reduce high blood pressure, DASH also helps many people manage their weight – and it’s rated one of this year’s Best Diets by U.S. News & World Reports.

Find What Works

What we put on our plates is so much greater than just fueling our nutritional tank: food should nourish your body and your soul. That means you shouldn’t deprive yourself of the deliciousness of dairy! By including dairy in a plant-based diet, you can still enjoy the comfort of family favorites – like our creamy tomato soup, cheesy veggie pizza and hearty broccoli casserole. Embrace the taste and nutrition of a lifelong healthy eating pattern with the goodness of dairy.

Learn more about dairy and plant-based diets. Find more #DairyAmazing recipes.

By Katie McKee, MCN, RDN, LD

Katie has always loved teaching others about the power of nutrition. She has a background in journalism as a reporter, writer and editor and has been part of the Dairy MAX team since 2015. When she's not working, Katie enjoys cooking and spending time with her young son and family. Learn more about Katie

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