Dairy food is often one of the first food groups banned on a weight loss and body building programs. They have long been mistaken for causing weight gain and viewed as “fattening”. The truth to the matter is omitting dairy from your diet can hamper your weight loss efforts and deprive you of building the lean muscle mass you deserve.
As one of the core food group’s dairy food contain a range of beneficial nutrients needed in a balanced diet. Nutrients such as calcium, B12, magnesium, zinc, phosphourus, riboflavin and protein. All contribute to good health. As you may already know calcium is essential for bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis, a problem that affects many women as older adults.
Research has shown that dairy consumption also helps those of us involved in sports too. Milk based proteins promote muscle growth and repair following resistance based exercise. In fact it’s the whey protein that is the most effective to yield results followed by casein protein. Drinking milk after your gym workouts is just what you need to build bigger muscles and repair faster.
When you’re drinking protein shakes put protein powder in skim milk, not in water. The combination of lactose (a carbohydrate) + whey + casein gives the body exactly what it needs: energy and amino acids. Hormonally the combination of carbohydrates and proteins boosts muscle building.
Lately, more research has been done on the benefits of dairy. High calcium intakes have been associated with lower body fat levels. In fact eating 3 serves of dairy daily in a calorie-controlled diet plan may help you achieve greater body fat loss than if you didn’t. Drinking milk is good for your health.
Whey protein in dairy products is one of the riches and highest absorbing proteins in our food supply. This means it protects the body from muscle breakdown. Muscle is essential for our metabolism. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be. Combining a good intake of dairy food with exercise will help you gain a higher metabolism. Having a higher metabolism is useful, it means you can burn more fat when you’re sitting on the coach watching TV!
Don’t fret if you’re lactose intolerant. Using lactose free based dairy products such as Zymil or Liddell’s is fine, it means that the product is treated with commercially made lactase enzyme, which is the same lactase enzyme naturally occurring in people without lactose intolerance. Those who suffer with lactose intolerance lack or have poor production of this enzyme. Bottom line, the nutrient content is the same in lactose free milk, so go ahead and start drinking milk.
Increasing your milk consumption all of a sudden without removing energy from somewhere else in the diet will cause weight gain. You may want to swap a piece of toast in the morning for a glass of milk, or that biscuit after dinner for a tub of yogurt. Doing a swap will change the nutrient profile of your diet and prevent sudden weight gain from the additional food.
If you’re a body builder when start adding milk to your protein shake and put more dairy in your pre and post workout meals. Drinking milk will give you muscles! Low fat Yogurt, low fat cottage cheese, skim milk are all great ideas to combine with low GI carbs like fruit, whole meal crackers or just for fun milo. One of my favourite combos is: low fat cottage cheese with stevia + chopped apple+ cinnamon or making a shake for dinner: frozen mixed berries + skim milk + ½ tbsp. whey protein powder.
Do you have some food ideas you’d like to share?