Dairy + Exercise = Improved Heart Health

Dairy + Exercise = Improved Heart Health

New Research Suggests Adding Dairy Products
To Your Meal Plan.

DAIRY PRODUCTS, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt can add flavor, richness, and a protein punch to any meal or snack. Sometimes, though, you may be on the go and not have time to get in a balanced, protein-rich meal. A healthy option may be a smoothie made with dairy-based protein powder that you can carry in a handy travel mug.

About Dairy-based Protein Products

A recent study found that obese women who exercise and consume protein-rich, dairy-based products, may have healthier hearts.

Dairy-based protein powders are made from the two main proteins in milk: casein and whey. Whey powder is the most common protein powder seen on store shelves. It is easily digested by the human body. Whey protein improves muscle strength and may help fight off illness by improving the body’s immune system. Protein products also help keep people feeling full for longer between meals. They may help you eat smaller portions, lose weight and keep it off.

The Research

A team of experts asked several groups of obese women to exercise three times a week for four weeks.

  • One group consumed whey protein each day.
  • One group had casein protein every day.
  • The last group received no extra protein.

Those who consumed a daily dose of a whey or casein protein had improved blood pressure levels and healthier blood vessels than those who received no added milk protein.

What Does This Research Mean For Me?

Although more studies are needed, it’s clear that protein-rich dairy-based foods may help to enhance heart health when consumed on a daily basis.

great ways
to daily add dairy
to your diet

Drink a cup of low-fat milk with breakfast or pour the milk over a bowl of whole-grain cereal.
Have a cup of low-fat yogurt for a snack to keep you fuller longer in between meals.
Have a cup of cottage cheese and some sliced fruit in place of your regular breakfast or lunch meal.
Add a slice of cheese to your sandwich or a sprinkle a few tablespoons of shredded cheese on your soup or salad for a protein boost.
Blend protein powder, milk or yogurt, and fruit for a protein-rich smoothie.


By Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD, LDN

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