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The Smart Way to Add Dairy to Your Diet

May 22, 2008
If you're trying to eat healthy, you might worry about adding too much dairy to your diet, since dairy products are generally considered high fat foods. But if you add the right kind of dairy to your meal plan, it doesn't have to have a negative impact on your calorie count.

In fact, studies have shown that dairy foods may actually contribute to weight loss and a healthier body, since it provides the body with the calcium it needs. Calcium found in dairy products is far better than any other source of calcium.

You can implement dairy products into your diet plan by concentrating on low-fat options, including cheese products and milk. People who increase their intake of low-fat dairy to 3-4 servings per day, as recommended by Perdue University, have seen a 28% increase in the amount of fat they burn while exercising.

Make sure to read the 'nutritional values' on the label. Just because the label says it's 'light' or 'low fat', you can find out by comparing with the regular variety of the item.

For those who are 'lactose intolerant' (allergic to the lactose in dairy products) there are alternatives. You can buy soy products with added calcium. You can replace regular dairy items with those that are made from soy, cheeses, fluid products, yogurt etc. You can add natural calcium supplements to your diet. These can be found in Natural Health food store in your area.

You can start by adding items like low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, and skim milk to your daily menu. Increasing your intake of these foods helps your body function better.

Most people associate calcium with strong bones. While it does contribute to a decrease in osteoporosis, it has other benefits you can enjoy, such as regulating your heartbeat. When your body is deprived of calcium, it creates a hormone known as calcitriol, which causes it to horde calcium in your fat cells, resulting in weight gain.

Michael Zemel, author of The Calcium Key, claims that increasing your dairy intake while decreasing calories and fat, doubles your weight loss efforts than I if you just cut calories and fat consumption alone.

To add dairy and calcium, try substituting your morning muffin with cereal and milk. Replace your sodas with low-fat milk and when a recipe calls for water, see if you can use milk instead.

When you're cooking soups, try to use a milk base instead of a broth base if you're trying to increase your dairy intake. Milk makes rice and risotto dishes creamier in texture, which is another smart way to sneak in your dairy.

Or, if you prefer to get your calcium in a glass, you can simply make it a point to drink an 8-ounce glass of low-fat milk with each of your three daily meals.
About the Author
Ron Richardson is an online entrepreneur and consultant.
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