Food does not have to be complicated or expensive to be nutritious and delicious. If you’re struggling to keep up with trendy recipes or tired of spending a fortune on bougie products, then take a deep breath and relax into the notion that less is more.
Every time I turn around there’s yet another brightly colored sports drink on the supermarket shelves. Believe it or not, real milk is the Original Sports Drink. Drinking milk after exercise helps the body refuel, recover, and rehydrate.
Milk naturally contains about 90 percent water, 8 grams of high-quality protein, and the electrolytes potassium and sodium. Electrolytes play an important role in hydration and need to be replaced after sweating during intense play or exercise, and high-quality protein is important for repairing and rebuilding muscle.
One study found drinking low-fat chocolate milk after a workout improved muscle building and future performance compared to a carbohydrate-containing beverage with the same number of calories. Skip the expensive sports drink and grab a frosty glass of milk instead!
Protein bars, shakes, chips– almost every type of food is now being pumped up with protein supplements. These manufactured, new-age foods often contain 10 or more ingredients along with added sugar, which makes them higher in calories than naturally protein-rich foods.
For example, one brand of protein bites provides 6 grams of protein, 11 grams of added sugar, and 170 calories per serving. Compared to one serving of mozzarella cheese, which provides 7 grams of protein, zero grams of added sugar, and 80 calories. Not only is cheese a natural source of high-quality protein, but it also provides other essential nutrients to our diets, like calcium.
While other people may spend money on probiotic supplements, you can save yours and choose natural sources of probiotics instead. Probiotics are the “friendly bacteria” that promote a healthy digestive tract and can help boost the immune system.
Yogurt, kefir, certain cheeses, and traditional buttermilk are natural sources of probiotics. Fermented dairy foods also contain compounds may provide anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-hypertensive properties, which are important for preventing some chronic diseases. Look for “live, active cultures” on the nutrition label to be certain you are reaping the benefits.
Long story short, don’t overthink your food. Visit our website to find more information about dairy nutrition and delicious recipes.
A collection of stories related to my work as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with The Dairy Alliance.
Views are my own.