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Low-Fat Dairy Reduces High Blood Pressure Risk
Date:3/11/2008

Meals Matter Website Offers Stress-Free Ways to Add Dairy Daily

SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Reducing the risk of high blood pressure may be as simple as drinking low-fat milk with meals, according to new research.

Women over age 45 who regularly consumed three or more daily servings of low-fat dairy products were 11 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure. Researchers at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston attributed the benefit to food sources of calcium and vitamin D because the preventative effect was not evident in participants taking dietary supplements. Study results appeared in the February 7, 2008, special edition of the journal Hypertension (http://hyper.ahajournals.org).

"High blood pressure is known as a 'silent killer' that affects one in three adults, and while this study offers promise for reducing those numbers, less than one-quarter of adults eat enough low-fat dairy products to benefit," said Andrea Garen, M.A., R.D., project manager at Dairy Council of California. "Making small, simple changes over time, such as eating low-fat yogurt for breakfast or drinking milk with meals, can increase calcium and vitamin D intake in a sustainable way."

Garen suggests using the interactive Calcium Quiz (http://www.mealsmatter.org/EatingForHealth/Tools/cq.aspx) available on the Meals Matter website, http://www.mealsmatter.org, to assess current calcium intake and then explore the searchable database for calcium-rich recipes that make it easier to add low-fat dairy foods every day. When part of a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats, regular dairy consumption can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, prevent certain cancers and help maintain a healthy weight.

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SOURCE Dairy Council of California
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