One of the major food groups, dairy is a term that refers to milk or products derived from milk such as cheese, yoghurts, cream and butter. So what is in dairy, and what sources should you be eating if you are looking to lose weight?

Dairy foods include sources such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, and can supply the body with a host of essential vitamins and minerals, including:

  • B1 (thiamin)
  • B2 (riboflavin)
  • B3 (niacin)
  • B6
  • B12
  • Vitamin A
  • Calcium
  • Zinc

These foods are considered a major source of nutrients for healthy bones and teeth, not only in children, but also for post-menopausal women and the elderly, who can be prone to osteoporosis.

Dairy tends to be high in fat. Butter for example is over 80% fat and contains 737 calories per 100 grams. Try going for dairy such as semi skimmed milk, 48 calories per 100ml, as opposed to full fat at 67 calories per 100ml. Low fat yoghurts are also to be recommended over full fat ones which also often have sugar added. Full fat cheddar has 429 calories per 100g but a light cream cheese has considerably less at 170 calories per 100g. If you are a vegan or decide to cut this food group from your diet altogether, you will need to find alternative sources for important vitamins and minerals, such as calcium which keeps your bones healthy.

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