Dairy products such as milk may help lower your risk for osteoporosis, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Milk is a good source of protein, calcium, potassium and, if fortified, vitamin D. It also provides you with a significant amount of phosphorus, with the exact amount depending on the type of milk you choose.
Phosphorus is an essential mineral that makes up about 1 percent of your total body weight. It helps keep your bones and teeth strong, and you need it for storing energy, filtering wastes from your kidneys and making DNA and new cells. Without enough phosphorus, your muscles, nerves and heart wouldn't function properly.
Phosphorus in Skim Milk
Skim milk is a particularly good source of phosphorus, since it contains 247 milligrams per cup, which is 35 percent of the recommended dietary allowance for adults. This is more than you get when you drink milk that contains more fat. A cup of 2 percent milk provides 224 milligrams, and a cup of whole milk contains 205 milligrams.
Increasing Your Phosphorus Intake
Eating meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, eggs, legumes, nuts, whole grains, garlic and dried fruit will help you get more phosphorus in your diet. Make oatmeal with milk instead of water, and add dried cranberries and nuts for flavor; have eggs scrambled with milk along with whole-wheat toast and peanut butter; or eat chicken breast cooked with garlic along with brown rice and vegetables.
Most people aren't deficient in phosphorus, but some people, including those with kidney problems, need to limit phosphorus. Try not to get more phosphorus than calcium in your diet while still meeting the recommended intake for both nutrients, since consuming more phosphorus than calcium can cause your body to take calcium from your bones to achieve a balance.