You may think you have to give up all dairy products when you start a diet, but to do so would deprive you of the many health benefits they can provide. There are many dairy products which are not only diet friendly, but can actually assist you in losing weight.
Milk as a Diet Aid
Milk is well known as a rich source of calcium, and a glass of low fat milk can provide as much as a third of your daily calcium needs. This is particularly important for women, who are more susceptible to osteoporosis, which is caused when calcium is leached from bone to be used by other parts of the body. Calcium has been shown to help people lose weight when they’re on a diet. Milk was even more effective than calcium supplements in studies, possibly because the calcium in milk is easily absorbed. Low fat milk contains less calories than standard milk, so it makes a suitable drink for your diet.
Yogurt as a Low Calorie Snack
Yogurt is often included in diets, and for good reason. It has much less lactose than milk, so many people with lactose intolerance can eat it without difficulty. It has valuable microorganisms that can help to mitigate some of the digestive problems that could come from various eating plans. Yogurt also contains B vitamins, as well as essential minerals and all for only 155 calories per cup. That cup also contains 25 percent of your daily protein needs, which is approximately 10 percent more than a cup of milk. Protein rich foods digest slowly, and can help you to feel full for longer, thus causing you to eat less. Probiotic (live) yogurt has also been shown to lower bad cholesterol levels and raise good cholesterol levels, which can help reduce your chances of heart disease.
Combat Cheese Cravings
Cheese is one of the most difficult foods to give up when starting a diet. In fact, cheese has been shown in studies to have addictive qualities, and some find it harder to give up than chocolate or even cigarettes. Some cheeses, such as cream cheese, can have up to 75 percent fat content, while the more common cheddar cheese is closer to 50 percent. However, cheese does contain many of the same benefits of milk, such as calcium and B vitamins and it usually contains more protein than milk as well.
To include cheese in your diet without high levels of saturated fat, try low fat versions. Check the labels, however, to make sure they don’t include lots of sugar to replace the fat. Alternatively, you can try using naturally low fat cheeses, like cottage cheese, or cheeses with intense flavors like Parmesan. While Parmesan is still around 48 percent fat, a few shavings will go a long way to provide the taste that cheese lovers crave.
Dairy products can provide many benefits if you’re following a diet, although you have to pick the right ones. Foods like yogurt and certain cheeses, as well as low fat milk, can keep your hunger pangs at bay, while increasing your daily intake of calcium and other essential nutrients.