By Emily Barr, MS,RD,CNSC
Whether you have a little extra around the middle, a muffin top, a little baby fat, a spare tire, love handles, or a beer belly, you need to know you are at risk!
Some of these terms of endearment, or some not so glamorous terms for extra weight around the waistline, are actually a big red flag of danger! We call this central adiposity or AKA belly fat. This is the fat that unfortunately made a home around your belly button and is the most scary type of fat of all. It increases your risks of heart disease (heart attack and stroke), cancer, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and metabolic syndrome to name a few. The feat of losing the weight around your midsection may seem difficult and frustrating at times, but what if we let you in on a little secret?
Research shows that adults who ate a low-calorie diet including at least 3 servings of dairy, lost more weight! Oh and wait, that’s not all. These adults also had lower blood pressure, risk of obesity, lower risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, stronger teeth and bones, and lower risk of heart disease and stroke. It seems like an obvious solution for that extra jiggle in our middles and our commitment to better health.
So are you ready to add some extra dairy to your day? Try having 3 or more servings a day! One serving is equal to one cup of milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, or pudding. You can also get your daily servings of dairy from cheese. It’s easy; 1 oz (about the size of 4 dice) of cheese equals 1 daily serving of dairy. Choose the low-fat or nonfat versions to help control your overall calorie and fat intakes. Here are some ideas to help you eat more dairy to lose more weight!
- Use milk in place of water when making hot cereals, hot chocolate, and soups
- Make yogurt parfaits with low-fat yogurt topped with cereal
- Make smoothies with yogurt, low-fat milk, fruits and for a bonus a spoonful of flaxseed!
- Use plain nonfat yogurt in place of sour cream for dips and sauces.
- Have high calcium snacks on hand such as yogurts, string cheese, low-fat pudding.
- Add low-fat cottage cheese to your salads.
- Add a little light chocolate syrup to your low-fat or nonfat milk.
- Try fruit or vegetable and cheese kabobs for a fun treat!
Whether you enjoy your low-fat smoothie, chocolate milk, or reduced fat cheese, remember 3 servings a day in combination with a healthy diet will help reduce your belly fat!
In honor of National Dairy Month, I would like for all of us to raise our nice frosty mugs of milk and toast to losing that jiggle around your middle!
By Emily Barr, MS,RD,CNSC
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