by Matt Weik
Whether you pour milk onto cereal, add cheese slices to your sandwich, or enjoy yogurt after dinner, consuming dairy products and adding them to your nutrition plan is a wise choice!
In this article, we will look at the many benefits you can experience through consuming dairy products. For as long as you’ve been alive, you’ve probably been told to drink milk. However, other than keeping your bones healthy, not many people understand the different benefits of dairy. We will break down some additional benefits below in this article.
Disclaimer: If you are lactose intolerant, do not consume anything containing dairy unless your doctor tells you to. Consuming dairy products if you’re allergic can cause you to have an adverse reaction. Consult with your doctor to see how bad your allergy or intolerance is and how much you should consume at one time (if any).
What Are Dairy Products?
Dairy is a food group that contains multiple dairy products like milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, and more. Dairy products are a great source of protein, calcium, vitamins, and various other nutrients. These nutrient-packed products are super easy to incorporate into your nutrition plan and play an essential role in overall growth and development.
According to the USDA (The United States Department of Agriculture), Choose My Plate recommends that adults consume three servings of dairy products per day, and children should consume 2-2.5 servings per day depending upon their age.
A typical serving includes a cup of milk, a cup of yogurt, an ounce of hard cheese, or a half-cup of cottage cheese.
But here’s something shocking… Around half of the world’s population reports difficulty digesting dairy products, which can make you wonder if you should really include dairy products in your nutrition plan. If you’re one of these people, be sure to speak to your doctor before adding any product containing dairy to your diet.
Let’s deep dive into the details of dairy products and see why they deserve a special place in your daily nutrition.
The Benefits of Consuming Dairy Products
Below, you will find the many benefits you can experience through the consumption of dairy products in your daily nutrition plan.
1. Support Bone Health
Want stronger bones like you were told as a child? Time to add dairy products to your nutrition plan.
As per studies, dairy is a rich source of calcium, which is the main mineral found in bones. Of course, you can get calcium from plant sources as well, but calcium from dairy is much more beneficial.
As per Dietary Guidelines, 2-3 servings of dairy per day is sufficient for your bone health.
Studies show that dairy helps to improve bone density and can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. So, if someone in your family has osteoporosis, it is better to include dairy products to reduce the stress of potentially developing bone-related issues in the future.
2. Lower the Risk of Type-2 Diabetes
Diabetes is one of the most common health conditions in the United States today. With so many factors responsible for diabetes, your nutrition is the most important one.
According to studies, dairy products help to reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes.
Research shows that including yogurt in your nutrition plan is associated with minimizing the effects on those with diabetes. It is the probiotics found in yogurt that plays a key role in managing the blood sugar level.
Also, a study found that people who consume the most high-fat dairy products have 23% fewer chances of developing type-2 diabetes as compared to those who consume the least high-fat dairy products.
3. Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
According to the dietary guidelines, choosing a low-fat dairy product helps to limit the intake of saturated fat and reduce the risk of heart-related diseases.
However, studies show that dairy products have different fatty acid profiles. And so, saturated fat does not have the same detrimental effect on heart health as that of something like meat.
Fermented products like yogurt also have other various health benefits. Studies show that yogurt helps to reduce cholesterol levels, which in turn, reduces the risk of blood pressure and heart diseases. Additionally, yogurt is excellent for gut health and the gut microbiome, which plays a key role in digestion and immunity.
4. Greater Satiety and Weight Loss
One of the most significant benefits of dairy products is that it offers great satiety. This is basically how full you feel after consuming the food or meal.
Let’s, for example, say cheese contains a slow-releasing protein that takes a lot of time to break down. So, the longer it takes to digest the food, the less hungry you feel in-between your meals.
Next, even whey protein has higher satiety benefits, which makes people consume fewer calories in-between meals.
And the most important part, food items that make you less hungry and consume fewer calories throughout the day tend to contribute to your weight loss journey and align with your fat loss goals.
MOOOOOve Over Dairy-Free
Are you thinking about the hassles involved in including dairy products in your nutrition plan? Well, dairy products are fast and convenient to include. Dairy products are grab-and-go types of products and require no cooking at all. So, if lack of time is the reason for not eating healthy, adding dairy products can help you stay on track.
All you need to ensure is that you choose the right dairy product for you, keeping in mind the calorie count. Add smart dairy options to your nutrition plan and take a step in the right direction toward better health.