Who reading this is trying to ditch dairy? Drinking soya or almond milk, cutting out cheese, saying bye to butter and ignoring the ice-cream cravings? What if I told you that it was actually bad for you to do this and won’t really help your diet at all.
Shocked? I was too when I learnt this…
Ok, just to outline, this isn’t aimed at those who are lactose intolerant. But like any food group (apart from processed foods) unless you have an actual intolerance to the food category, there is no benefit to cutting it out, and in many cases you won’t get all the nutrients you need from other foods to fill this gap.
Dairy is important for building strong bones and keeping teeth and gums healthy – it reduces the risk of gum disease. Not only this but the calcium we get from dairy is used to help clot blood, to build strong muscles and also to make nerves work well! Did you know it did all that?
We all love a good muscle, don’t we?
Did you know dairy products also contain Vitamin A and Zinc which helps eye sight and immune function, Riboflavin which helps keep skin healthy and Iodine which regulates the body’s rate of metabolism – so it’s not just all about the calcium we get from dairy.
I understand that many dairy products have high fat or saturated fat content but you don’t need to eat lots of fattening dairy products to get your daily intake. You only need 3 portions of dairy a day – a portion for example being a medium sized yoghurt, a glass of milk, or 50g of cheese.
I learnt a lot of this during a short course in nutrition I took last year and it completely changed the way I thought about it. I now consciously work to consume enough dairy, although I do most regularly go for the lower calorie options such as Activia style fat free yoghurts, Laughing Cow Extra Light Cheese Triangles and semi-skimmed milk ( which I use mainly for a dash in my porridge and in my tea through the day).
It’s easy to slot a little extra dairy into your day, whether you add a sprinkle of cheese to pasta dishes, choosing a breakfast which uses milk or adding a yoghurt to your lunch.
One of my fave ways to add dairy to my diet at the moment is to add a few chunks of laughing cow extra light cheese triangle to my omelette – take a look at this:
It’s so tasty – you often get a small mouthful with a spot of soft cheese, making it super creamy and delicious.
Button mushrooms – you choose how many, depends how mushroom-y you like your omelettes
50g flavoured turkey breast (I used Bernard Matthews)
2 laughing cow cheese triangles
Splash of milk
salad, to serve
Crack two eggs into a glass and beat with a splash of milk and a twist of black pepper. Leave to the side.
Fry the mushrooms in the pan until the start to look slightly smaller and almost cooked. Pop the turkey into the pan too to warm it through.
Whilst the turkey is warming through, open the two cheese triangles, cut into pieces and pop in the pan – this can be difficult as the cheese is pretty sticky. You could always use the slotted turner kitchen utensil to break it up in the frying pan and stir in with mushroom and turkey first.
Next reduce the heat to as low as possible and pour in the eggs. Cook extremely slowly as not to burn the underneath – the egg needs to cook all the way through.
When you think it’s almost cooked, check the underneath and flip over to cook the top too -you don’t have to do this but I like mine slightly more well done.
Serve on a plate with a side salad. Bon Apetit!
If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you’ll know I’ve been challenged to undertake a fridge detox by the team at the laughing cow – read my first post here.
Here’s a quick update on the fridge front:
Ok, so it could get better. I’m going to start making overnight oats for breakfast and preparing some super healthy lunches. I’m also going to start to make my own smoothies since visiting my auntie and getting lots of Nutribullet inspiration so watch this space!
How are you going to incorporate more dairy into your diet?