Are you a pro- or contra dairy person or you haven’t decided yet? I don’t blame you in either case. The available information is overwhelming and the debate on whether humans should consume dairy products or not is very real and fierce.
Starting from its high fat content, through calcium intake recommendation to lactose intolerance, there are many topics to include when discussing the benefits of dairy but to be honest the time and space wouldn’t be enough to investigate all angles.
According to an extensive analysis of all available evidence, literature and meta-data the conclusion is, there is contradictory evidence on dairy products in relation to lactose intolerance, higher risk of inflammation or other diseases and its weight loss benefits.
However, intolerance aside it seems proven that dairy products may represent a highly valuable source of dietary calcium. Considering that it’s high in calcium and nutrients, the absorption rate is also high, it’s widely available at a relatively low cost makes it ideal for a percentage of the population for accessible calcium and nutrient source.
I understand you may have concerns in terms of the high fat content that quickly adds up in calories when you are trying to lose weight so let’s consider how to include dairy products on a weight loss diet.
1. Don’t be afraid to go low-fat
A part of the dairy debate is between those that only ever consume low or non-fat dairy and those that go full-fat. None of them are right or wrong. Different products have been developed to meet different consumer needs.
Feel free to choose dairy to your preference. If you want to save some calories, go for low-fat, just make sure you check the label and choose the brand carefully to avoid eating too much fat fillers. You can find certain products on the market that are natural low in fat, like Icelandic yoghurt.
2. Restrict the portion, not the product
Are you the type who would chuck down a carton milk per day as fluid? Or the cheese lover that can’t get through the day without cheddar? Maybe you love butter on toast too much?
Try to replace milk with other means of liquid intake, like green tea, water or even soup and keep your milk to a glass or for your coffee. Whatever your weakness in dairy is, don’t try to cut it out completely, just consume it with measure.
3. Yoghurt for a healthy gut
I don’t mean the super sugary and flavoured sweet pots that fill most of the yoghurt stands. Look for the “natural”, “greek” or “high-protein” yoghurt and if it’s too bland, use fresh or frozen berries, nuts and seeds to jazz it up.
4. Discover goat’s dairy products
Some people are not lactose intolerant but have other forms of sensitivity to cow’s milk but can do well when drinking goat’s milk. If you have never been told lactose is bad for you, but feel that cow’s milk makes you bloated, feel free to try goat’s dairy and see how you feel.
The taste will be slightly different, but I know a bunch of people who made the shift and didn’t have to fully give up drinking milk as a result.
5. Snack on cottage cheese
Similarly to yoghurts, I advise you to pick the natural version, ideally from an organic and local farm and feel free to flavour it with fruits of your choice. You can even find muffin recipes on the internet for a low-calorie snack (around 60 calories).
6. Forget mayo based salad dressings
Using low-fat yoghurt based salad dressings can help you cut back on the calories you consume with your salads and even spice it up a little as many green spices and other seasoning go very well with yoghurt on salad veggies and leafy greens.
Whether or not you promote the consumption of dairy products it’s a fact that vitamin B12 naturally is only available from animal products, including dairy. This information is very important for those who have decided to go vegetarian, fully plant-based or even vegan, as they will need to ensure they have sufficient B12 from fortified foods like cereals and/or B12 supplements.
Would you add anything to the above or have more question about the dairy debate? Feel free to get in touch and start a conversation.
My name is Calumn, founder of CD Fitness Coaching. You’ll find me in and around the gym and helping like minded people get the results they deserve. I enjoy everything from keeping fit, yoga, snowboarding, coffee and making people happy. If you would like to be a part of the bigger community join my Facebook group, Healthy Living With CD Fitness Coaching is a must.