Dairy and your Lifestage

Seniors

Did you know that in Australia osteoporosis affects one in two women and one in three men over the age of 60 years?

Women begin to lose bone rapidly following menopause. By the age of 65, both men and women lose bone at the same rate. Eating plenty of calcium-rich foods, getting enough vitamin D and regular exercise can help to slow this bone loss.

Dairy foods are a convenient and easily available source of calcium in your diet. After the age of 70 years three-and-a-half serves is recommended every day.

Milk is a good source of protein, calcium and energy (kilojoules) for older Australians. Having enough kilojoules throughout the day will help you have the energy you need to be active. Getting the right amount of protein can help keep muscles strong.

Dairy foods pack a lot of nutrition into a single serve. As well as calcium and protein, they provide essential nutrients like vitamin A, riboflavin, zinc and magnesium, which are important for the health of older Australians. As you age, your energy needs and appetite may decrease, so you need to make every meal mouthful count! Nutrient-rich foods should be included in all meals and snacks each day. Unless your health professional has advised otherwise, all varieties of dairy foods, including regular-fat varieties, are good choices if you’re older than 70 years.

Milk and milk-based drinks as part of other fluid intake also helps to prevent dehydration, a common issue for seniors.

If you’re a woman over the age of 70, four serves of the dairy foods group are recommended every day. If you’re a man over 70, the recommended daily amount is three-and-a-half serves. A serve from the dairy foods group is a cup (250ml) of milk, three-quarters of a cup (200g) yogurt, two slices (40g) of cheese, half a cup (120g) of ricotta cheese or alternatives.

Dairy foods are convenient and versatile, making them easy to include in most meals and snacks. With a wide variety of dairy foods available, meeting your recommended amount every day is easy.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Make your morning coffee a milky one.
  • Have a bowl of fruit and yogurt for breakfast.
  • Add cheese to a salad or sandwich.
  • Dollop natural yogurt on a jacket potato.
  • Grate or shave some parmesan or mozzarella cheese on pasta dishes.
  • Enjoy custard as a snack or after dinner.
  • Have a warm glass of milk in the evening.
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