There has been a lot in the news recently about the benefits of dairy products for our health…and how it is not just good for our bones. The classic thinking about dairy is that it is full of fat and calories. Imagine rich brie or luscious whipped cream. Then think nonfat Greek yogurt, cottage cheese or feta. Sounds much healthier, doesn’t it?
In reality milk, yogurt, cottage cheese and lowfat cheese are packed full of nutrients. Most of us know that milk and other dairy products are rich in calcium which helps our bones stay strong, including reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Dairy is also a good source of Vitamin D, which is critical in the absorption of calcium in our bodies and the regulation of phosphorous, which is also key for healthy bones, teeth, nerve and muscle function. Recent studies have also shown that bodies higher in Vitamin D have a lower risk of disease like heart, cancer and diabetes.
An ever-increasing importance of dairy products is the evidence that they help with weight loss and weight management because they are high in protein. When you eat protein it does not get converted to fat as most of the highly processed and highly refined foods we eat do like breads, pastas and cookies. This leads to a revved up and better functioning metabolism. It also takes longer to digest the protein, which has two benefits: it leaves you feeling fuller longer and provides a longer lasting source of energy. There is no doubt about it, research shows those that consumed more dairy lose more weight.
One of the great ways of building more dairy into your diet is to incorporate it into your daily snacks. This will help keep you satisfied between meals as well as boosting your health. Below is one of my favorite dairy snacks that tastes a lot like a rich pudding.
Chocolate Hazelnut Greek Yogurt Pudding
1 cup nonfat Greek Yogurt
2 tablespoons chocolate PB2
1 tablespoon sugar-free hazelnut syrup
1. Place all the ingredients in a right-sized bowl. Mix well.
2. Eat slowly and savor each bite.
Serving size: 1 snack for 1 person.
Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!