One of the hardest decisions for many people to make when it comes to losing weight is whether to cut out dairy or not.
Questions arise such as:
- Is the dairy contributing to my slow progress?
- Why should I cut out dairy?
- Don’t I need dairy for calcium?
- I don’t have a dairy intolerance so maybe it’s okay for me?
- Could dairy be the reason why I’m not losing weight?
I mean, let’s face it we all LOVE dairy don’t we? I mean who wouldn’t. It’s creamy, cheese is tasty, and it makes cooking a whole lot easier, right?
BUT…the truth is, dairy doesn’t work well for many people trying to lose weight, especially women. The reason for this comes down to the list below plus dairy may possibly contribute to hormone havoc, and unfortunately with us women, we often have to regulate hormones in order to get significant weight loss.
I know for me, any time I want to cut back a few kilos/pounds, the dairy is off the list. Personally I find it makes a huge difference. When I’m in maintenance mode, I can tolerate a little dairy and might include yogurt, hard cheeses, and a bit of cottage cheese.
Anyway for now let’s explore why following a dairy free diet may help your weight loss.
5 Reasons A Dairy Free Diet May Help Your Weight Loss
1. Dairy is quite high in sugar
Lactose is found in all dairy products and it is a form of sugar. The sugar content in dairy is not off the air high but it’s enough to elevate your insulin levels.
Being that you want the opposite to occur when you’re trying to lose weight, you want to normalize and regulate insulin, then maybe dairy is the only thing contributing to keeping you at a flat rate or on a weight loss plateau.
Regular milk has approximately 4.7% sugar content. And believe it or not reduced fat milk has 5.3% and low fat milk has 6.5%. That means you are better off eating full fat dairy because fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar does. It is a common misconception that we should eat low fat, but often low fat means the product is full of more sugar.
2. Dairy is NOT as nutritional as we may believe
Many things we read claim that dairy is one of the most nutritious foods, and that we ‘need’ it for essential nutrients such as calcium, but look at this breakdown of milk.
- Water 87.6%
- Carbohydrates 4.7%
- Fat 12%
- Protein 8g
- Vitamin A 4%
- Calcium 28%
- Iron 0%
Now let’s look at canned salmon with bones
- Carbohydrate 0%
- Fat 31% – the good kind, EPA & DHA that we all need more of
- Protein 79g
- Vitamin A 4%
- Vitamin C 0%
- Calcium 92%
- Iron 14%
Clearly canned salmon can give us more calcium than milk, along with other valuable nutrients.
Do we need milk for calcium? No. Many people who have a diary allergy or intolerance can’t eat dairy and their bones are just fine!
And whether dairy really delivers enough nutritional value on other levels is debateable.
3. Possible lactose intolerance
Some of us go along completely unaware that dairy is causing unneccesary gut irritations that may prevent weight loss. Having a full blown lactose intolerance is one thing, but it is not uncommon to have a mild intolerance and even that can slow progress. Many people do not produce enough of the enzyme lactase, which is responsible for effectively digesting lactose. We can develop a lactase deficiency when our gut and intestinal health are damaged.
There are many reasons this can occur. Most of them related to eating bad foods for a prolonged period of time. The best way to tell if you have a lactose intolerane is to cut dairy out for a few weeks, then try eating it again a few days in a row. After that if you experience any kind of digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, upset stomach, constipation, diarrhea or other digestive or intestinal issues, it could be the dairy causing it. Therefore it’s probably best for you to avoid it.
4. Casein gut irritation
Casein is the main protein that is found in dairy products and can also be a problem for the digestive system. Improving gut health and digestion is essential to speed up weight loss so eliminating any irritants could significantly improve results.
5. May disturb acid/alkaline balance
Dairy products are an acid forming food. Essentially with our diet we want to work to get a balance between acid and alkaline foods. Having a more alkaline quality improves digestion and overall health. Acid overload also increases inflammation throughout the body and can contribute to disease.
When it comes to weight loss, it’s all about effective digestion, absorbtion, and utilization since it’s all intricately connected to the foods we eat. The first point of call is digestion and if there are things such as dairy that may interfere it can slow down function and effectiveness. So working to improve that could provide a better outcome for you.
The two types of dairy that are usually tolerated best are yogurt and cottage cheese because the cultures and processing is different to other dairy products.
Hope you find this helpful 🙂
Nutritionist & Health Counselor