You may want to snack on a yogurt while you read this. Several studies back up the theory that dairy, especially yogurt, can help you maintain your weight, according to Angelo Tremblay, researcher with the Department of Kinesiology at Laval University in Quebec.
"Weight management and dairy isn't a new story, but it's certainly backed up by the research," said Tremblay, who spoke recently at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference in Chicago.
In a review of studies, Tremblay found that daily calcium intake was lower in individuals with higher body mass indexes, and that men who consumed yogurt were learner than those who did not.
It may be that those who eat yogurt have healthier lifestyles - they smoke less and are more physically active.
"Yogurt isn't a magic pill," Tremblay said. "It has to be accompanied by other lifestyle changes, such as exercise, adequate sleep and healthy eating, but clearly when you look at the research, there is a message - dairy makes an impact on appetite control."
Europeans consume a yogurt a day; Americans consume one yogurt per week, according to Amanda Bleckman, registered dietitian with Dannon.
"We recommend people consume yogurt every day because it contains four of the nutrients Americans are deficient in - calcium, vitamin D, potassium and fiber."
Q and A
Q: Online companies say they can help find the best diet and exercise based on genetics, based on a DNA sample. Is this type of test worthwhile?
A: The ability to tailor dietary advice based on genetic testing is an area that has been the subject of a considerable amount of research for more than two decades. However, using nutritional genetic tests to identify your optimal diet, such as to lose weight or to improve your cholesterol levels, is a work in progress. Although we have identified several genes are informative, we are not there yet in terms of providing practical and successful nutritional advice based solely on genetic information. (The same is true for testing to determine one's best exercise/workout.) Still, there are more obvious things that can be detected with such tests. For example, they can indicate whether you are prone to lactose intolerance or whether you can likely drink coffee and still be able to sleep at night (based on your genetics for metabolizing caffeine). You probably have already figured out these things without a genetic test, though. If you're curious enough to test and have the extra money (tests cost a few hundred dollars or more), at least test in consultation with a health professional, such as a doctor or dietitian, trained in the interpretation of the data. Some tests are available only through health professionals; others are sold directly to consumers. - Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter.
Here's a quick weeknight dinner that's full of Moroccan flavors as well as healthy omega 3 fats and antioxidants. It's from Cooking Light magazine.
Spice-Roasted Salmon with Roasted Cauliflower
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 cups cauliflower florets
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
4 (4.5 oz) skin-on salmon fillets, about 1 inch thick
4 lemon wedges
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper in a large bowl. Add cauliflower florets; toss well to coat. Arrange cauliflower in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet; bake at 450 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes or until cauliflower is browned and tender. Combine the cauliflower mixture, cilantro, raisins and lemon juice in a bowl; toss gently to combine. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon cumin, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, coriander and allspice in a small bowl. Rub spice mixture evenly over fillets. Arrange fillets, skin side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until done. Serve with cauliflower mixture and lemon wedges. Serves 4 (serving size: 1 fillet and about 3/4 cup cauliflower).
Per serving: 270 calories, 30 g protein, 13 g carbohydrate, 8 g sugars, 11 g fat, 3 g fiber, 455 mg sodium.