Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Importance of Milk

I drink a glass of milk every day with my breakfast. I LOVE milk - I probably drink it more now than when I was a kid. Now, milk is super important for me because people (especially women) that take thyroid medication are at high risk for osteoporosis. But it's also REALLY important for people who want to lose weight or maintain their weight! In addition to calcium, milk also contains these essential nutrients: protein, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, magnesium and vitamin D. Who can argue with that good stuff?! Weight Watchers recommends 2 glasses of milk per day - or 2 servings of dairy.

Some people believe that drinking milk can make you overweight - this is a HUGE myth!! In fact, having enough calcium in your diet can help weight loss maintenance and helps boost your metabolism. It is important, however, to drink fat free or 1% milk instead of 2% or whole milk. I know, milk lovers, skim milk "tastes like water" - but it's MUCH better for you than milks that are higher in fat. Ween yourself off slowly - if you can only get down to 1%, you're taking in a lot less fat than those who drink whole milk!

Here are some other perks of including 2 glasses of milk per day in your diet:
It prevents osteoporosis (everyone knows!) but also, hyper tension and colon cancer.
It can reduce tooth decay.
It helps you feel fuller longer - who doesn't want that!

Don't like milk? If you're a coffee lover, putting milk instead of cream in your coffee or latte is a great way to add a serving of milk! Also, cottage cheese and non-fat yogurt are loaded with the same dairy protein as milk.
Other great ways to get calcium:
1. Sprinkle a small amount of shredded low-fat cheese on . . . well, anything!
2. Stir some plain non-fat greek yogurt into many recipes for dairy-based dip, low-fat cream soup, or spicy Indian dishes to add creaminess and texture.
3. Wrap some sliced low-fat cheese around asparagus spears, turkey breast, roast-beef or string beans.
4. Use low-fat fruit-flavor yogurt as a topping on angel food cake, a bowl of berries or low-fat granola

So make sure you get that dairy in your diet!!

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