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Learning about Calcium

October 5, 2010
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Earlier this fall, I was contacted by Cabot Creamery Cooperative, asking if I was interested in learning more about Cabot.  As it turns out, Cabot is one of the dairy companies I regularly purchase, as they are available at my local market.   I was thrilled to have an opportunity to ask talk with Registered Dietitian Regan Jones who works with the Cabot Creamery Cooperative. 

See, there were some things that I knew, but I didn’t know why, or how, or simply more.

I knew that calcium is important throughout our lives, and especially to athletes.  I knew that a calcium rich diet helped to keep bones strong and help prevent osteoporosis.  And I knew that calcium through foods was better than calcium through a supplement, but I didn’t know WHY. This bugged me, so I took the opportunity to become a bit more informed and ask Regan some questions.  Here’s what I learned.

104_5153Why is getting calcium through foods, such as cheese, more beneficial to health than through a pill/powder/supplement?

It’s important to think "food, not pharmacy" when it comes to the benefits associated with certain nutrients. Foods aren’t just isolated vitamins and minerals. They’re complex packages of all types of nutrients that work together to provide benefit. In the case of calcium, specifically, research has shown a diet high in calcium THROUGH dairy foods provides benefits like strong bones, better blood pressure and maybe even a healthier weight. Studies on just the calcium supplements alone often don’t show the same benefit, or worse, sometimes show detrimental effects.


What are the healthiest sources of calcium, and what are some easy ways to work these into our diets?

Health experts agree that the simplest, healthy way to get calcium in our diet is through three servings of calcium-rich dairy foods [milk, yogurt and cheese]. Because these foods are all offered in delicious tasting reduced and low fat varieties it’s also easy to keep your calories in check while getting in plenty of bone-building. I recommend the SIP, SPOON and SPRINKLE method: sip a low-fat latte with milk in the morning, spoon some low-fat yogurt over fresh fruit for an afternoon snack and sprinkle a couple of ounces of reduced-fat cheddar over your baked potato at dinner. It’s that simple.

Can you please give some information on the importance of a calcium rich diet to an athlete?

Calcium is important at any age and physical activity level, but especially for active bodies since calcium aids in muscle movement.

One thing most people aren’t aware of is that actually low fat chocolate milk has been shown to be a better recovery beverage after exercise than even "sports drinks." It’s more than just calcium, though… the protein helps with muscle repair and the minerals help replenish the body.


Can you tell me more about the business practices of Cabot? 

Cabot is a farm-family owned cooperative and 100% of our profits go back to our farmers. When you buy Cabot, you’re supporting the more than 1200 family farms of New England and upstate New York who make their living providing the high quality cheeses that have made us known as the World’s Best Cheddar. In turn, those same farmers believe that it’s their responsibility to give back to your communities, wherever Cabot is sold, through community efforts instead of jingles on the airwaves.  We invest our marketing dollars in projects to support the broader community and let our actions do the talking for us.  We have been involved in such key events as: Big Bones Bash, Put a Bad Beat on Hunger, Celebrity Cruise and in the coming week’s we’ll be setting the world’s record for the Largest Mac n Cheese, to benefit the New Orleans Habitat for Humanity

A big ‘Thank You!’ to Regan for taking time to answer my questions and to Cabot Creamery Cooperative for offering me this opportunity!  Stay tuned to THS for some fun recipes using Cabot cheese soon!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. October 6, 2010 7:45 am

    I rarely drink milk but with the amount of cheese I consume I’m sure I get my recommended dose of calcium. Right now I’m on a goat cheese kick. Trader Joe’s has this amazing honey goat cheese that makes me want to eat slices of it straight from the packaging.

  2. stepf @ dailyspark permalink
    October 6, 2010 9:19 am

    Thanks for sharing, Heather. Any word from them on rBGH usage?

  3. October 6, 2010 9:24 am

    No, Heather… Thank YOU for sharing this important information with your readers! Making a healthier “us” makes a better U.S. 😉 [and beyond… for our int’l friends, as well]

    Thanks again!

    ~Regan from Cabot Creamery

  4. October 6, 2010 1:45 pm


    I just noticed your question and wanted to share some info that I thought you might be interested in. Cabot Creamery no longer accepts milk from cows being treated with rBST/rBGH (a protein hormone that helps boost milk production). While there may be some existing inventory in stores with older packaging, for the most part you should notice this new labeling on most packages of all our varieties of cheeses. Be sure to look for the icon on our cheeses wherever you shop. Hope that helps!

    ~Regan from Cabot Creamery

    • stepf @ dailyspark permalink
      October 6, 2010 1:50 pm

      Thanks so much, Regan. That’s great news. 🙂


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