10 Benefits of Dairy for Health and Weight Loss

dairyDairy elimination diets are all the rage these days. The common wisdom seems to be that if you want to lose weight it’s time to switch milk for soy, and ditch the cheese and ice cream. If the prospect of this makes you want to cry, have no fear! There are actually some really compelling reasons why cutting out dairy may not be the best idea.


  1. French women don’t get fat eating cheese.

The mystery of why French women don’t ever seem to gain weight even though their diet consists of bread, cheese, and wine is so widely pondered that it’s been given a name: “The French Paradox.” So what’s the big secret? Mireille Guiliano spills the details in her book French Women Don’t Get Fat, and it all comes down to one thing: French women really enjoy their food! French women eat slowly and really taste every bite. They are in tune with their bodies and stop eating when they’re full, which is easy to recognize if you’re truly paying attention to what you’re eating. So don’t ditch the cheese! Instead, simply slow down and truly savor every bite.

  1. Yogurt is the ultimate healthy snack.

Yogurt has been a go-to snack for the health conscious for years with good reason! Yogurt is a protein filled powerhouse, which means it will keep you fuller longer and power you to keep going through whatever you have planned for the day. Yogurt also has probiotics, which will help you better digest your food and absorb nutrients. Nutrient absorption is particularly important to anyone cutting calories. Yogurt is also great for swapping with other ingredients in recipes. If a recipe calls for cream, sour cream, or even butter, you can usually use yogurt as a substitute.

  1. Jennifer Aniston enjoys frozen yogurt as a midnight snack.

In this edition of “celebrities are just like us,” Jennifer Anniston admits that she loves to indulge in frozen yogurt as a midnight snack. This isn’t surprising considering she’s been vocal about her love of high-protein diets. Since frozen yogurt packs a protein punch it’s a great sweet snack. Aniston also says that she believes it’s really important to indulge your sweet tooth so you don’t feel deprived.

  1. This amazing breakfast recipe from my Eat More, Burn More cookbook.Dairy

My Eggs Florentine is one of my absolute favorite recipes from Eat More, Burn More. And it contains low-fat milk and Neufchatel cheese. YUM! You can find the recipe on page 38 of my cookbook. If you still haven’t gotten your copy, you can grab it here.

  1. Feeling deprived and being deprived actually leads to overeating!

We are constantly told that certain foods are “bad” and that others are “good” and we can only eat the good foods and never eat the bad foods. When people are perpetually on diets that tell them to not eat certain things, like dairy, they end up feeling deprived. Dr. Evelyn Tribole, the brilliant mind behind the principles of “Intuitive Eating,” says that this feeling of deprivation is actually why most people end up binge eating. So, if cutting out dairy makes you feel deprived, you are actually more likely to overeat!

  1. Cutting out a food you enjoy may make you crave it more.

It’s not fun to be told that you can’t eat something you enjoy. If you love cheese or ice cream, you know how awful it feels the day before you start a diet, when you think to yourself “Well I guess I won’t be eating that for a while!” It turns out, making a food forbidden makes it all the more alluring. As soon as you say you can’t eat cheese, all you can think about is cheese! This often leads people to “cheat” on their diets, which can turn into an all-out eat-fest. If you don’t make Dairyany foods off limits then when your body wants cheese or ice cream you can have a bit and move on. Your body craves things for a reason and it’s much better to listen than to ignore.

  1. This fat-burning lunch from Eat More, Burn More.

In my cookbook, on page 41, you’ll find one of my favorite lunches. I call it The Good Wrap. And it has a delicious serving of dairy. It pairs goat cheese with delicious veggies, egg whites, hummus, and a whole-wheat tortilla.

  1. Fat is an essential part of a well-balanced diet.

Fat has a bad reputation. The low-fat trend was all the rage in the ’80s and ’90s and we still haven’t quite recovered from our fear of fat. The reality is that fat is essential to the functioning of your body. Fat helps protect the vital organs, sustain a stable body temperature, and aids in digestion. Milk, cheese, butter, and full-fat yogurt are great sources of the fat our bodies need to properly function. Next time you’re in the grocery store don’t be scared to skip the low-fat versions of your favorite dairy products. Remember, you need the fat!

  1. Dairy helps maximize your workout

Moving your body is an important component of a healthy lifestyle. After a workout, your body needs certain things to recover, most importantly: water, vitamins, nutrients, and protein. Luckily dairy provides all these things! In fact, chocolate milk is actually a good recovery drink. It rehydrates the body, provides protein to rebuild muscle, and replenishes vitamins and nutrients. The sugar can also provide a boost for your tired body and brain so you can get on with whatever’s scheduled after your sweat session.

  1. Life is too short to miss out on delicious dairy foods, including desserts. Check out this brand-new recipe that you’ll only get here. Just in time for the 4th of July, it contains delicious mascarpone cheese and a red, white, and blue assortment of berries.


Gui Alinat

Gui Alinat is a Tampa, Fla.-based American Culinary Federation Certified Executive Chef, published food writer, and the owner of Artisan Boutique Catering. He is the author of "The Chef's Repertoire," and "Eat More, Burn More." Born, raised and classically trained as a chef on the Mediterranean coast of France, he traveled extensively, working in restaurants around the world. Chef Gui promotes an active lifestyle, sound nutrition, and believes that fresh and tasty food is resolutely compatible with fat loss and bodybuilding alike. He lives in Florida with his wife Carissa and their five children.