In line with World Milk Day on 1 June, DairyBelle is conducting a “Savour Every Flavour” campaign, which highlights the importance of dairy in a balanced diet. We chat to Vital Nutrition expert Andrea Du Plessis, and DairyBelle's Innovation Technologist, Ansie Laning about why dairy is beneficial to women and how to create a balanced diet and keep the kilos off.
Why is having dairy in your diet so important for women specifically?
Dairy products are excellent for bone health, helping to prevent osteoporosis. This is because taking in calcium-rich foods such as milk, cheese, and yogurt helps to increase the bone acquisition during the bone’s growing stages, helps slow age-related bone loss, and it also reduces the risk of suffering from an osteoporotic fracture. It is especially important to eat dairy products in the earlier years of life as a person’s peak bone mass is reached by the time they are in their 20s. Attaining peak bone mass is important in the later adult years, especially for women that have gone through menopause.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women need about 1300 milligrams of calcium every day and dairy is a great source to cover their basic requirements, while supplementation is recommended to ensure optimal intake.
If you’re looking to lose weight, what are the best ways to do so while incorporating dairy into your diet?
Including low fat dairy products into an energy controlled balanced diet, may support your weight loss goals, notably as this supports calcium intake. Higher calcium intakes have been linked with better weight control. Researchers say there are a variety of potential mechanisms that may explain the benefits of calcium in support of weight management and merit further research. For example, it is believed that some of the minerals in dairy products, such as phosphorous and magnesium, may enhance calcium's beneficial effects on fat breakdown within the cells. In addition, the proteins in dairy products may help preserve muscle and increase metabolism.
To get the best results out of your diet and to see the results you want, you should be exercising regularly as well as sticking to a healthy diet. Exercise plays an equally important role in weight management as diet and is also in support of bone health in women.
What are the best low fat dairy options to add to your trolley?
Low fat dairy products have many benefits and can help reduce the risk of hypertension, support a healthy thyroid function and more. But when it comes to choosing your products, lower fat cheeses, low fat frozen yoghurts and DairyBelle InShape yoghurt and cottage cheese will satisfy your hunger.
What key tips would you give to women looking to create a diet that offers balanced nutrition?
Add, don't subtract – Try adding foods to your diet instead of subtracting them.
Add in healthy goodies you really love, like deep-red cherries, juicy grapes, or crunchy snow peas. Slip those favorite fruits into your bag lunch and breakfast cereal; add the veggies into soups, stews, and sauces for dinner. Don't forget to add in something physical as well, whether it's doing a few dance moves before dinner, light exercises or taking a quick stroll.
Hydration helps – Down some water before a meal and you won't feel so famished. Drinking a glass of water before a meal will help you watch what you eat since you won’t feel as hungry as you were. Keeping your body refreshed with plenty of water may also help your workout, staying hydrated helps you to exercise more and longer than if you don't drink water.