Teagasc researchers with the help of UCC are analysing dairy consumption patterns amongst Irish Adults.
The research was carried out, and now the results are in. People who consume dairy usually have healthier dietary behaviours.
The benefits of taking dairy products in our diets have long been lauded and heralded, but yet not all consumers take dairy. Whether it be for health reasons, or just out of choice.
Researchers from UCC and Teagasc decided to work together and look at how dairy foods incorporate into our daily diets. This was done by analysing data from the National Adult Nutrition Survey, which holds details on the consumption patterns of over 1,500 Irish adults.
The research team gained some interesting information from their work, they found that 99% of the population take dairy in their diets, with Milk being the most consumed item.
They also found that on average Irish adults DO meet the daily dietary recommendations for dairy food. The results showed that on average we consume a glass of milk, a portion of cheese and yogurt most days in the week.
Upon grouping the results by type and pattern of food consumed, the study showed that we don’t all take dairy in the same way.
The study found that sports orientated people (mainly men) tend to consume a pint of milk a day while not consuming other dairy products.
It also found that younger consumers tend to prefer cheese, while women mainly eat yogurts.
Perhaps the most important information to come from this survey was the fact that those who consumed high amounts of dairy on a regular basis tended to follow an overall healthier diet.
A quarter of the population were found to consume very little dairy, while others used it predominantly in tea and coffee.
Speaking following the publishing of the results was Dr Sinéad McCarthy, of the Teagasc Food Research Centre in Ashtown.
She said those who consumed a lot of dairy tended to follow fat intake recommendations.
According to Dr Sinéad McCarthy, Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown: “The consumers who have a balance of all dairy foods also expressed strong motivations to engage in healthy dietary behaviours, whereby fat intakes are within recommended levels, showing that dairy foods plays a key role in a healthy diet”.
The message for those who consume low levels of dairy was very clear. It’s vital that these consumers consume the appropriate levels of calcium daily to help maintain bone health, and also to help prevent health issues such as osteoporosis from developing.
Moral of the story is: Drink More Milk, Take more dairy, And life won’t get too scary!
National Adult Nutrition Survey investigated habitual food and beverage consumption, lifestyle, health indicators and attitudes to food and health in a representative sample (n=1,500) of adults aged 18 years and over in the Republic of Ireland during 2008-2010.
The Department of Health’s guidelines for adults over 18 years, recommends three servings from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group each day as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Examples of one serving include 200ml of milk, 125g of yogurt or 25g of cheddar-type cheese.
To read teh full results of the study please visit here http://bit.ly/TResearchsummer2017.