Questions??? Ask an expert

Staff Writer
The Steuben Courier Advocate

How can I lower my risk of developing high blood pressure during pregnancy?

Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure happens in 10% to 20% of all pregnancies. If not corrected, it may lead to preeclampsia (a potentially life-threatening disorder of late pregnancy.)

If you can boost your calcium intake to 1,200 to 1,500 mg /day, you’re a step ahead in reducing your risk of pregnancy induced high blood pressure and preeclampsia.

Consuming 4 servings of milk or milk products a day provides enough calcium to help reduce your risk of high blood pressure by 62% and preeclampsia by 70%. These foods also contain potassium and magnesium, both of which help lower blood pressure.

— Karen Backies Dietician

What’s the difference between organic milk and regular milk?

In terms of quality, safety and nutrition, there’s no difference between organic and regular milk.

Both contain the same combination of nutrients that make dairy foods an important part of a healthy diet.

Organic milk is just one choice among many in the dairy case that can help people meet the U.S. government’s recommended three servings a day of milk and milk products.

— Nancy Zwick Dietician

How can the entire family be bone healthy at every age?

It’s never too early, or too late, to make bone health a priority. The National Dairy Council suggests the following steps to help build stronger bones and reduce their risk of osteoporosis:

•Be active participating in weight-bearing and cardiovascular activities daily or at least several times a week.

• Own your diet. Adopt a lifestyle of proper nutrition that reflects the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and includes three servings a day of low-fat or fat-free milk, cheese or yogurt.

• Nourish Your Bones.  For stronger bones, there’s no better source than dairy foods, which provide essential bone-building nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, protein and vitamin D.

•Encourage others. Be a role model by setting a good example. Children follow the lead of parents and older siblings.

• Eating three servings a day of low-fat or fat-free dairy foods in a healthy diet, combined with regular physical activity, is an important way for the whole family to build stronger bones and help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.