Healthy eating meal plans contain nutritious foods like milk, granola, yogurt, and berries.

3 Healthy Eating Plans & Diet Tips for 2020

See why these three popular and vitamin-rich healthy eating meal plans are trending in 2020. Learn how they may benefit you, your lifestyle and also help you create a way to eat healthy on a budget.

 

If you’re looking to adopt a new healthy eating plan in the new year, you might want to think twice about the trendy dairy-free plans that crop up on your social media feed. These seemingly healthy eating tips could leave you falling short on nutrients you need.

Three of the most popular and health-promoting plans of the moment all provide sensible healthy eating tips  – the Mediterranean diet plan, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet plan and the Flexitarian diet plan – all include dairy milk as an important component  of a healthy eating meal plan. It makes sense, because it’s hard to get enough of nutrients you need without dairy in the diet.

In fact, recent research suggests adding an extra serving of dairy to the Mediterranean Diet makes it even more nutritious, boosting amounts of calcium, vitamin D and potassium – three essential nutrients in milk — without exceeding recommendations for nutrients to limit, like saturated fat and sodium. Another recent study found not only does incorporating more dairy improve the quality of the diet, it benefits health, as well – specifically improving blood pressure and levels of good cholesterol (HDL) compared to a standard low-fat diet. While a Mediterranean diet meal plan typically includes around two servings of dairy a day, these studies built in three to four.

The DASH diet plan, long known for its positive effects on heart health, includes three servings of lowfat or fat free dairy per day. And, good news for fans of whole milk, it may be just as effective when it includes full fat dairy, too  Recent research found a DASH diet that included whole milk and other full fat dairy products lowered blood pressure just as much as the traditional version, reinforcing the effectivenss of this healthy eating meal plan.

As a high-quality complete protein, dairy milk is also an important part of the Flexitarian diet, which encourages more plants and less meat. Many plant-based proteins are incomplete, which means they don’t provide some of the building blocks your body needs. Dairy milk is also an important source of calcium for flexitarians (and vegetarians), as substituting milk with non-dairy calcium sources like fortified soy milk or leafy greens can lead to gaps in other key nutrients such as protein, vitamin D, phosphorus, riboflavin, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A and vitamin B12.

That’s why milk is great to add to your grocery list, especially if one of your resolutions for 2020 to eat healthy on a budget. One 8-ounce serving of milk contains 8 grams of high-quality protein, so that’s a gram of protein for every ounce.  That’s a real bargain — and a great healthy eating tip — for about 25 cents a glass.

Instead of eating in a way that could leave you at risk of nutrient deficiencies, opt for a more balanced approach to your healthy eating plan in the new year and consider a plan that includes dairy milk. Visit MilkLife.com for more information and milk-inspired recipes.