28 May How Does Dairy Affect Weight Loss?
Dairy: A Hidden Factor in Your Weight Loss
Have you ever wondered how much dairy you should have each day? Or whether it’s working for you?
Dairy is prevalent in the average Australian diet, recommended by our health authorities as the best food to keep our bones and teeth strong via its calcium content. It is a unique animal food as it is intended to promote rapid development of a baby calf cow. The question is, if it is intended to stimulate rapid growth and developments of a calf, what effect does it have on humans trying to lose weight?
So how does dairy promote growth? Well it does so through having an abundance of protein, growth stimulants and sugar. These factors in cow milk stimulate growth via a hormone called insulin. Insulin signals the body to increase other hormones that promote tissue growth such as muscle, bone and organs. This doesn’t sound too bad, but when a food promotes a lot of insulin release it can trigger the negative effects of this hormone which is fat accumulation and weight gain. Over-secretion of insulin can also have a numbing effect on cells which can respond by becoming insulin resistant.
Having too much insulin in the blood stream can be a disaster for weight loss because it promotes the storage of fats and carbohydrates as excess weight. It can also lead to a pre-diabetic state called insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome. This is a contributing factor to weight gain but can also contribute to some serious health issues in the future if insulin levels remain high.
When you combine the insulin producing food group of dairy with its common side-kicks of sugar or refined wheat, it results in a disaster for your metabolism. Does ice cream and cereal sound familiar? Those foods exacerbate the negative aspect of dairy and promote serious hormonal disruptions that contribute to weight gain.
Not all dairy is made equal when it comes to insulin. Hard cheeses and cream, for example can be eaten providing all the benefits of dairy without this negative effect. However, yoghurt, milk, fermented milk, soft cheeses and buttermilk all have this affect and should be avoided or controlled if insulin and weight loss is a problem for you.
If you are reading this or have found research elsewhere that has said that dairy, including the sorts listed above, can decrease fat stores you would be correct. It is more of a situational thing; if you have elevated blood insulin and a carbohydrate rich diet that includes dairy, then this article may be relevant to you. If you have a healthy carbohydrate intake, low blood insulin and can tolerate dairy, you may be able to reap the weight loss benefits of dairy. It’s not black and white, so always seek some guidance if you need help with weight management. Our bodies’ needs are individual, therefore establishing your own health foundations prior to addressing weight concerns can have a massive impact on the end result.
If you would like to explore your body’s capacity to tolerate dairy, or have a comprehensive health and nutrition consultation, call NatMed today on 9339 1999.