Level Two: The Milk Challenge
Whole and 2% milk provide a significant amount of calories and saturated fat. In Level Two, you will aim to reduce your intake of whole and 2% milk and substitute fat-free or low-fat milk instead. Your goal is to accomplish this at least two days each week. Track your low-fat Milk on Level Two on your Score Card. Each time you choose a low-fat milk option check off the “M” token on your score card. Each level builds on the previous level. To complete Level 2, you must earn 3 F/V tokens PLUS 2 Milk tokens for week three and week four. Then, complete the self-care challenge and advance to Level 3.
Why make the switch?
- Intake of dairy products is linked to improved bone health, and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
- Dairy products are also associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, and with lower blood pressure in adults.
Dairy Product Nutrients
- Dairy products are the primary source of calcium in American diets. Diets that provide 3 cups or the equivalent of dairy products per day can improve bone mass.
- Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Dairy products, especially yogurt, fluid milk, and soymilk, provide potassium.
- Vitamin D functions in the body to maintain proper levels of calcium and phosphorous, thereby helping to build and maintain bones.
- Milk products that are consumed in their low-fat or fat-free forms provide little or no solid fat.
Why is it important to make fat-free or low-fat dairy choices?
- Choosing foods from the Dairy Group that are high in saturated fats and cholesterol can have health implications. Diets high in saturated fats raise “bad” cholesterol levels in the blood. The “bad” cholesterol is called LDL cholesterol. High LDL cholesterol, in turn, increases the risk for coronary heart disease.
- Many cheeses, whole milk, and products made from them are high in saturated fat. To help keep blood cholesterol levels healthy, limit the amount of these foods you eat.
- In addition, a high intake of fats makes it difficult to avoid consuming more calories than are needed.
SELF-CARE CHALLENGE #2. Before moving to the next level, focus on your oral health. Schedule a dental exam and cleaning if you have not done so in the past 6 months.
Complete this Self-Care Challenge and move to Level 3 on your score card.
Last updated September 2012