10 weeks to a healthier you
Get ready for a healthier you with 10 weeks of eating advice, fitness tips and healthy recipes to get you feeling and looking great!
In week 2, we cast the spotlight on low-fat dairy foods. Providing essential Calcium, important for healthy bones and teeth, dairy foods also provide B vitamins like Riboflavin and B12, which help reduce feelings of tiredness and fatigue, and minerals like potassium, which helps to maintain a healthy blood pressure.
But that’s not all. Do you know that dairy foods can help your body recover post-workout?
If you are working up a sweat with intense exercise, what you eat afterwards could affect how well your body recovers. According to sports nutrition expert Anita Bean, author of Food For Fitness, milk has three important post- exercise benefits: rehydration, refuelling and repair.
‘It contains whey protein, which is absorbed quickly by the body and promotes rapid muscle recovery. Drinking milk after exercise also helps reduce muscle damage, and it rehydrates you better than a sports drink as it helps the body retain fluid.’
After a serious workout, pouring yourself a 500ml glass of any type of milk – full, semi-skimmed or skimmed – will provide these post-exercise benefits, recommends Anita.
If you’re not sure you can drink that much milk, opt for a smaller 300ml glass and a 200g pot of yogurt. Waitrose Greek Natural Fat Free Strained Yogurt is a good choice as it contains more protein than the average yogurt.
You might be surprised to hear that people who include milk and dairy foods as part of a calorie-controlled diet are likely to be slimmer than those who don’t.
Nicola’s top tips
Our Nutritionist Nicola Selwood, shares her top tips for introducing more low-fat dairy into your diet.
Know your portions
Both regular and low-fat dairy products can be an important part of a healthy diet but portion control is still important. Aim for 3 servings of dairy a day, such as a glass of milk, a yogurt or a small piece of cheese. Easy ways to get your 3 servings include adding low fat yogurt to breakfast cereal or fruit, adding a small amount of grated cheese to jacket potatoes or pasta, or making smoothies at home.
You don't have to avoid dairy if you're on a diet
Until recently, many dieters avoided dairy products because of the fat content. So you might be surprised to hear that research shows people who include milk and dairy foods as part of a calorie-controlled diet are likely to be slimmer than those who don’t. Studies have shown that it’s the calcium and whey proteins in dairy that may help to increase the amount of fat loss.
You can go dairy-free
Dairy provides us with a variety of vitamins and minerals, but people tend to be most concerned about missing out on Calcium. Fortunately there are many other useful sources of calcium if you avoid dairy, including canned fish with edible bones (sardines, salmon), soya bean products such as tofu, almonds, dried apricots and figs, pulses like beans, and green leafy vegetables such as curly kale, spinach and broccoli.
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