Dairy and Plant-Based Diets

As Americans look to improve their diet, many are seeking out plant-based or plant forward diets. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) recommends a higher intake of fruits and vegetables, but also incorporates all five food groups, including dairy. In the three dietary patterns outlined in the Dietary Guidelines, including the vegetarian eating pattern, dairy is incorporated because of the important nutrients it provides that would be difficult to replace with other foods.

In addition to not eating enough fruit and vegetables, Americans are also falling short on dairy recommendations. Each of these food groups provides vital, often under consumed nutrients that are difficult to find in other food groups. Taking a more inclusive approach to plant-based eating such as is illustrated in MyPlate or the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) can lead to valuable health benefits such as reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, reduced risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.

  • Plant-Based Eating: Choosing the Right Balance

    When shifting your diet to include more plant-based foods, consider an inclusive approach vs. eliminating food groups for balancing your plate.

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  • Beverage Guidelines for Children:
    Birth – 5 Years

    Experts agree, cow’s milk is the milk of choice over plant-based milk for young children.

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  • Plant-Based Eating in the 2020-2025 US Dietary Guidelines

    Learn more about plant-based eating in the 2020-2025 US Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

    Get DGA Resources
  • Can Animal Foods Fit into Plant-Based Diets?

    Learn more from Greg Miller, PhD, FACN on how animals foods make important nutrient contributions to healthy, plant-based eating patterns.

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  • 3 Reasons to Include Dairy in Plant-Based Diet

    Why a plant-based, dairy-friendly diet is a healthy and sustainable choice for our planet.

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