One food group that’s far too often cut out of many people’s diet plan is dairy. Dairy often gets a bad rep with many people believing that if you choose to eat it, you’ll put yourself at a high risk for weight gain. Likewise, many people have come to believe that they’re lactose intolerant and as such, avoid dairy at all costs.
But, the truth is that neither of these are entirely accurate. First, dairy can most certainly be a part of a healthy weight management or weight loss diet plan. Secondly, if you know your body, you might just find that certain types of dairy don’t set off your lactose intolerance like other varieties do.
But why should you eat dairy? What does it have to offer you? Let’s look at six reasons you should be including dairy in your diet plan so that you can better understand why it deserves a place.
1. Increased Protein Intake
The first reason to add dairy into your diet is because it’s a terrific source of protein. Provided you are choosing higher quality dairy products that aren’t loaded with fat, you’ll actually take in anywhere between 10-20 grams of protein per serving of dairy, which can go a long way towards meeting your daily requirements.
For those who aren’t big on eating animal protein sources (such as chicken, turkey, steak etc.), adding dairy to their day could mean the difference between them meeting their protein needs or falling short.
The increased protein will then go on to help improve your blood glucose control, decrease hunger, while also helping you recover from any activities you may be taking part in.
2. Stronger Bones
Do you want strong bones? It’s time to get that dairy in. Dairy is the best source of calcium in the human diet as it’s the most readily absorbed. While you can get calcium from plant sources such as spinach or kale, it won’t be nearly as beneficial to your bones as calcium from dairy is.
If osteoporosis runs in your family or you are concerned about stress fractures and/or breaks, it’s important that you include dairy in your diet. Some people choose to supplement with calcium instead and while this can help to some degree, it’s still not as good as getting the calcium in from whole food sources. One serving of milk, for instance, will provide up to a third of your total recommended daily calcium intake.
3. Fat Burning Properties
When most people think of dairy, they tend to think of weight gain, not loss. But really, you can lose weight consuming dairy as well. The trick is choosing the right variety. Sure, if you feast on ice cream, hard cheese, or other high fat dairy products, you won’t be keeping your body slim. But, if you choose low fat varieties of Greek yogurt, skim milk, or reduced fat cheese varieties, you can certainly include those foods in your diet while keeping your calorie and fat intake in check.
What’s more is that those who consume dairy as part of their reduced calorie fat loss plan tend to show greater fat loss from the abdominal region as well. Meaning, you might just notice that you store less belly fat when consuming dairy. This is thanks to the protein and calcium combination that dairy provides. However, you can’t reap the same benefit from consuming other sources of protein (such as chicken) and supplementing with calcium. It’s the unison together in dairy that appears to offer this benefit.
Those who have a higher consumption of dairy in their diet plan tend to have reduced waistlines and may also have a lower risk factor for suffering from metabolic syndrome compared to others consuming less dairy. Additionally, as body fat is lost, this can also lower your risk factor for other obesity-related diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
4. Greater Satiety
An often unmentioned benefit of dairy is the fact that it offers excellent satiety. This refers to how hungry you feel after consuming a particular food item. One form of dairy – cottage cheese – contains casein protein, which is a slow-releasing protein. Eat some cottage cheese and your body will be working hard for hours breaking down that food. This makes it an ideal snack to consu