By Rob Clarke Driven Sports
There seems to be two distinct camps when it comes to dairy consumption. First, there are those who utilize it to its full potential for deriving protein and other excellent nutrients. And then there are those that aim to restrict dairy as much as possible as they believe it makes them look “puffy” and bloat them.
I am not in the latter group. I consume dairy on a daily basis. Unless you have a legitimate issue with lactose then you really should too. And I don’t just mean drinking milk. There are a lot of excellent food sources that stem from milk, with particular focus on certain cheeses and yogurts. You can do your diet a huge service by getting nutrition from these sources.
My particularly choices are fat-free cottage cheese and Greek yogurt (note: NOT Greek-style yogurt). In fact fat-free Greek yogurt is quite a revelation when mixed with your favorite protein powder (I now use Greek yogurt for “Gloop”). I am also a big fan of the almond milk varieties. I should make it known that I don’t suggest the fat-free dairy varieties because I am a “fatophobe”. I just find that the fat-free versions tend to have a slightly higher protein value for a lower calorie level.
I’m not just pointing this out so that you guys have a new protein source to try, or a new way to get inventive with a recipe. New research appears to be looking more into dairy and the effect on body composition, reinforcing why you should be consuming it. For instance, take a new study published in the International Journal of Obesity this month. In it researchers from Iran have conducted a meta-analysis of several other studies investigating dairy consumption and its effect on body composition. They concluded that as part of a calorie-controlled diet people that include dairy as part of their diet can improve their body composition to a greater degree than those that avoid it. In other words, less fat, more muscle.
The reason for this finding is believed to be largely due to the protein content of the dairy. Not only is protein associated with muscle repair and building as every good bodybuilder knows, it also has a significant appetite-suppressing effect. A new study coming out of Denmark actually looked at this. Strangely, the subjects in this particular study did not report feeling like their appetites had been suppressed following milk consumption. But it was clear that something was at work because they did not eat as many calories in a subsequent meal.
In addition to the quality protein content, dairy is tends to be rich in vitamin D and calcium. Both of these micronutrients have been found to be beneficial for improving body composition in a recently published study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Particular visceral fat, which as you should know by now, is the type of fat packed in and around the organs in your midsection. This is the fat that doctor’s are more concerned with from a health perspective (A nice plug for Lean Xtreme™ there!)
As you aim to get a lot of protein in your diet each day, don’t be afraid to get some (or a lot) of it from dairy.
Abargouei AS, Janghorbani M, Salehi-Marzijarani M, Esmaillzadeh A. Effect of dairy consumption on weight and body composition in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials. Int J Obes (Lond). 2012 Jan 17.
Lorenzen J, Frederiksen R, Hoppe C, Hvid R, Astrup A. The effect of milk proteins on appetite regulation and diet-induced thermogenesis. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jan 25.
Rosenblum JL, Castro VM, Moore CE, Kaplan LM. Calcium and vitamin D supplementation is associated with decreased abdominal visceral adipose tissue in overweight and obese adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jan;95(1):101-8.