With the removal of the ‘milk and alternatives’ group, dairy has been removed. Plain milk, yogurt, kefir, cheese are joined by beans, legumes, tofu, nuts, seeds, eggs, poultry and lean red meat and is now labelled as a ‘protein’ group representing 1/4 of the balanced plate.
This can be concerning as there is not much direction in the guide in how children or adults are going to meet their calcium needs, which is quite a high number.
- For children 4-8 calcium needs are ~1000mg/day , 9-13 1300mg/day
- For adults it ranges from 1000-1200mg/day
For perspective, a cup of plain cows milk contains 300mg calcium, and 1 cup of broccoli contains about 75mg. Meaning, you would need to eat about ~4 cups of broccoli to reach 300mg. I don’t know about you, but no child or adult will eat that much broccoli and even if they did, they would be much too full to eat anything else!
The bottom line: Dairy can and should be a part of the diet if there are no intolerances or allergies. If dairy is not part of the diet, a Registered Dietitian should be seen to assess the diet and need for supplements.