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Why Choose REAL® Dairy Products?

Why should you choose genuine U.S. dairy products? Because real milk, cheese, and yogurt offer a unique package of nine essential nutrients that both children and adults need. Consider:


  • Milk is the No. 1 food source for three of the four nutrients identified by the federal government as falling short in the diets of both children and adults. These are calcium, potassium, and vitamin D.
  • Experts agree that dairy foods deserve a special place in the diets of children. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, several nutrients critical for growth are lacking in the diets of children and adolescents. These include calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin A. Dairy foods provide all of these.
  • The shortfall in these nutrients is a significant public health concern. That’s why the government encourages adults to consume three servings of low-fat and fat-free dairy products daily and children to consume two.
  • Dairy foods play a major role in bone health. Inadequate calcium and dairy food consumption among children results in a higher risk of osteoporosis and life-threatening fractures later in life.
  • Eating the recommended servings of low-fat and fat-free dairy foods can lower blood pressure in adults. Studies also associate consuming low-fat and fat-free dairy foods with lower risks of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, as well as osteoporosis.
  • By lowering the risk of these chronic diseases, consuming dairy foods may also help reduce health care costs.


One obstacle to consuming more dairy foods, especially among children and members of certain ethnic groups, is lactose intolerance. For these individuals, most experts recommend alternatives from within the dairy food group, such as yogurt or lactose-free milk, over non-dairy substitutes. That allows sufficient intake of calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients to avoid problems with bone health.


The REAL® Seal lets you know you’re buying a genuine dairy product, not an imitation or substitute. It guarantees you are benefiting from the many nutrients associated with products made with milk from cows on U.S. dairy farms.


REAL® Milk's Nutritional Punch Wins Out


How do non-dairy alternatives compare with milk in terms of nutritional value? They don’t! In fact, all of the substitutes must be fortified with calcium and other synthetic nutrients just to come close to milk’s unique package of vitamins, minerals, and protein. And more often than not, they still fall short!


In the table below, the key nutrients in a serving of milk are compared with the average nutrients in soy, rice, and almond non-dairy substitutes. The blue-shaded boxes indicate where the imitators fall short. It turns out nearly 70 percent of the time the imitators can’t match milk in nutritional content.


Don’t be deceived by clever advertising and marketing schemes. The nutritious—and the only natural—choice is milk from cows. Look for the REAL® Seal to avoid confusion. It guarantees you are purchasing genuine U.S.-made cow’s milk.


* Nutrient values averaged among commonly available non-dairy products.