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Although most Americans meet their protein needs, many are seeking new options for sources of protein in their diets, and low-fat and fat-free dairy foods can help meet this need. However, low-fat and fat-free milk and milk products are not seen as a top source of protein by many Americans, so there is an opportunity to educate on dairy’s inherent high-quality protein to help people get more diversity in their diets when it comes to protein.

The Institute of Medicine recommends that 10 to 35 percent of total daily calories should come from protein. That’s about 50 to 175 grams per day for a 2,000 calorie diet. Note: Calorie needs differ per individual, see for guidelines.*

  • Although most people meet minimum protein requirements (i.e., the low end of this recommended range), many may benefit from a moderately higher protein intake (i.e., the midlevel of this recommended range) such as active individuals and older adults.*
  • Some experts suggest people may benefit from consuming approximately 20 to 30 grams of high-quality protein at each meal.*

To help improve public awareness that low-fat and fat-free milk and milk products are not only a source of calcium, but also a source of protein and other essential nutrients, National Dairy Council has developed new protein education resources for health and wellness professionals to use with patients, clients and the public to help increase  awareness of dairy’s high-quality protein.  From helping build muscle with exercise to providing easy and tasty options at meals, high-quality protein foods, such as dairy foods, can help Americans meet their health and wellness goals.

* Please remember to check with your doctor or registered dietitian before making changes to your diet and/or exercise routine.


Education Materials

Protein: Understanding the Basics
Protein Throughout the Day
Protein and Vegetarian Meals
Protein and Healthy Aging
Protein and Exercise
Dairy Helps Meet Protein Needs

Dairy Innovations In Health & Wellness

The dairy industry is committed to helping meet the health priorities and dietary needs of Americans through innovations in nutrient-rich dairy foods—at home, on the go and in schools.  


Local Spokespeople

Need dairy information with a local angle? Your state or regional dairy council can provide dairy nutrition science perspective and resources, information on local events, and media interviews.