Clients that workout at Prime Performance in Totowa, New Jersey, know I recommend a pre and post workout snack. Many use protein smoothies, made with milk solids, cottage cheese and applesauce, Greek yogurt and fruit or cheese and fruit slices. These are good options, but they all contain dairy products. There’s a lot of discussion whether dairy is good for you or not. If you’re lactose intolerant, some types of dairy isn’t an option, but for the rest of us, what’s the answer?
Not all dairy is equal.
A tall glass of pasteurized milk from grass-fed cows contains higher amounts of linoleic acid and omega-3 fatty acids than other types of dairy found on the shelf. Fermented dairy like yogurt, cheese and cottage cheese are also more digestible by those with lactose intolerance. That’s because it’s traditionally low in lactose, unlike whole milk. If you’re trying to lose weight, you may think that low fat milk is a good option. That’s not true. In order to make it palatable, manufacturers add sugar.
There are many nutrients in milk and milk products.
Drinking milk does offer benefits. Milk contains many of the 22 essential nutrients. It has more calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, potassium and protein than most food. It also contains vitamins A, B-12, B-6, E, K, folate, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, iron and selenium. Benefits of milk include improving blood sugar levels and may also include bone health and stronger teeth, but there is some contradictory evidence to the latter two. The Nurses Health Study, a huge study that lasted years, showed that those who drank milk actually had a 50% increased risk of fracture. Studies show that countries that had the lowest consumption of milk also had the lowest risk of osteoporosis.
Whole milk and milk products may actually help you lose weight.
Milk and milk products contain both fat and protein. Consuming both can keep you feeling full for far longer than consuming carbohydrates. Contrary to the Nurses Study, other studies showed that drinking milk helped young people build stronger bones and improved their dental health. In older adults, milk also helped reduce plaque on teeth.
- Most people know they can’t tolerate dairy because of excess gas, diarrhea and cramping after consumption. That sensitivity varies by individual. Sometimes skin rashes can occur and thicker mucus and more frequent colds.
- Several studies show that milk can cause eczema and acne-like skin conditions. This tended to occur most often in people who drank low-fat or skim milk, rather than whole milk.
- Most studies reveal that children benefit more from milk than adults do. However, milk products, like yogurt and kefir provide other benefits, without many of the negatives that occur with whole or lower fat milk.
- If you drink milk or choose milk products, try to use organic, hormone and antibiotic-free options. Even using butter made from the milk of grass fed cows has heart healthy benefits.
For more information, contact us today at Prime Fitness Studio