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The role of Dairy in our diet

Our Primary food

Milk is our initial and exclusive form of food in the first stages of our human life, being a vital source of nutrients for the complete development and maintenance of a healthy and strong body! Milk has long been considered as a wholesome food. Though known for its richness in calcium, and thus being important for your bones, milk also contains more than 9 other vital nutrients including protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fats.

It is a complete food, which benefits people of all ages, and is considered basic, even necessary, for children and the elderly, due to its rich nutritional value, which is due to the variety of nutrients it contains.

Everyday Life

Milk contains a wide variety of ingredients (proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins) in high concentration and readily available for absorption by the body. 70% - 80% of the daily amount of calcium comes from dairy products.

Dairy products are a major source of nutrients, such as calcium, iodine and phosphorus. Ingredients that contribute to the proper development of the body and the "building" of strong and healthy bones, while at the same time helping to achieve maximum bone mass, contributing to the prevention of osteoporosis and osteopenia in later life1.

How many servings of dairy do we need each day?

The recommended daily consumption consists of two or three servings of dairy products per day as part of a balanced diet.

Eating at least three servings a day, seems to help prevent and treat obesity2-6. Besides, the intake of dairy products in these quantities fully covers the body's needs for calcium, thus offering our body a double benefit.

  • Toddlers 1 – 3 years old: 2 portions
  • Primary School Children 4 – 8 years old: 3 portions
  • Teens 9 – 17 years old: 4 portions
  • Adults 18– 50 years old: 3 portions
  • Older Adults > 50 ετών and menopausal women: 4 portions
  • Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women:  3 portions

­­What counts as 1 serving of dairy

  • 1 glass of milk (250ml)
  • 150g (1 small pot) Yogurt
  • 40g (2 slices) of gouda, edam, kefalotyri cheese
  • 70g (2 ½ pieces) of feta cheese


  1. British Dietetic Association (2013) Food Fact Sheet. Osteoporosis https://ww-
  2. Wang H, Troy LM, Rogers GT, Fox CS, McKeown NM, Meigs JB, Jacques PF (2014). Longitudinal association between dairy consumption and changes in body weight and waist circumference: the Framingham Heart Study. Int J Obes (Lond). 2014 Feb;38(2):299-305.
  3. Chen M, Pan A, Malik VS, Hu FB(2012).Effects of dairy intake on body weight and fat: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Oct;96(4):735-47.
  4. Abargouei AS et al. (2012) Effect of dairy consumption on weight and body composition in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials. Int J Obes (Lond) 2012;36:1485-93.
  5. Kratz M et al(2013). The relationship between high-fat dairy consumption and obesity, cardiovascular, and metabolic disease. Eur J Nutr 2013;52:1-24.
  6. Benatar JR et al. (2013). Effects of high and low-fat dairy food on cardio-metabolic risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomized studies. PLoS One 2013;8:e76480.
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