What Happens To My Body When... I Cut Out Dairy Products
By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD
Cutting out dairy products to reduce calories was popular in the 1970’s but thanks to the availability of reduced-fat milk, cheese and yoghurt, it’s now less common.
This is good news as dairy products are the main provider of calcium in our diets, a nutrient that’s needed for strong, healthy bones.
Nevertheless, one woman in 20 still has intakes of calcium below the minimum amount recommended for good health, rising to 8% of woman aged 19 to 24 years. This is worrying as according to the National Osteoporosis Society, one woman in two and one man in five has signs of osteoporosis, a condition that’s characterised by the thinning and weakening of bones, leaving sufferers more prone to fractures.
Giving up dairy also skips a range of other nutrients including satiety-inducing protein, B vitamins, magnesium and phosphorus. Cutting out milk, cheese and yoghurt may also make it harder for you to lose weight. Research is increasingly showing that the calcium in low-fat dairy products has an important role to play in weight loss by helping to break down body fat, especially around our waist.
Research shows people who consume milk and dairy products are likely to be slimmer than those who cut out dairy. It’s not just calcium that’s a diet hero. Other ingredients in milk such as whey proteins, a specific type of fat called conjugated linoleic acid (or CLA) and branched chain amino acids (protein building blocks) may all have a role to play in fighting fat!
For best health and weight loss benefits, aim for three servings of dairy a day and stick to reduced-fat products such as skimmed milk, fat-free yoghurt and lower-fat cheeses such as cottage cheese.
Giving up dairy products to lose weight means could mean your body is not getting the minerals and vitamins it needs. Use the WLR Food Database to make nutritional, healthy choices and the WLR Food Diary to count your calories – hassle free! Try them both free for 24 hours.