Celebrate dairy month

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Every June, we celebrate National Dairy Month. There are many food products within the dairy food group but one of our favorites is cheese. It can fit into almost any eating plan. Many people are trying to cut down on their meat intake and cheese can help fill the protein gap. Cheese contributes high-quality protein as well as calcium, phosphorous and vitamin A to the American diet.

Because there are so many different types of cheese, it’s a nutritious choice that easily fits into most eating plans. Cheese accounts for only 9 percent of the total fat and 16 percent of the saturated fat in the U.S. diet.

If you are looking to lower the sodium in your diet, one tip is to choose a cheese based on firmness and age. In general, softer, less-aged cheese requires less salt than harder, aged varieties.

Cheese not only tastes great, but it’s a convenient, portable and versatile food. When paired with fruits, vegetables and whole grains, it may help people eat more of these recommended food groups, including dairy.

Protect your eyes

The choices we make every day affect our eyesight, including what you put into your mouth. There are some foods that you can eat that will help support your vision so you want to make sure your diet includes foods that support good eye health.

Those include the orange vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes because they have high levels of beta carotene, which is a form of vitamin A.

Others are leafy greens such as spinach or kale. These contain lutein, vitamin C and vitamin E. Those can help protect from damage caused by sunlight, help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. Bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli and cantaloupe also have vitamin C. Salmon and tuna have the good omega-3 fatty acids that help your retinas work properly.

Another protein, egg yolks, are also full of the good vitamins that protect the retina and cornea. A healthy diet can help prevent eye conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. In addition to proper nutrition, simply wearing your sunglasses is important to the health of your eyes. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can damage your eyes so you should wear sunglasses that block the rays of the sun. There are plenty of inexpensive sunglasses that block UVA rays and reduce your risk of developing cataracts.

Identity theft

Lately there has been news about a company being hacked and the hackers getting a lot of account information. As news about the hack hits the media, you may start thinking about how to protect yourself. The first and most important thing to do is to change your password. And when you change your password, you need to make sure it is something difficult for people to guess. If you use that same password for multiple accounts, you may want to change those passwords as well. If you receive an email or text message, asking for your password or pin number, never give it out even if you think it is from someone you know. It is important to review your credit card and bank statements often for your accounts so you can be on the lookout for mysterious charges. And, remember you can get a free credit report every year by visiting http://annualcreditreport.com

Calendar of events

June 20 Beekeepers meeting

June 25 4-H Summer Fun – Pollinator nation

June 26 4-H Summer Fun – Take me out to the ball game

June 27 4-H Summer Fun – Where does your water go?

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