Oviedo, new stage of Healthy Meetings
“Say yes to at least three dairy products per day” is a programme that informs about the benefits of milk and dairy products for athletes
It has been launched by Inlac and the European Union to promote the recovery of milk, yogurt and cheese in the Spanish diet
Any sport, any intensity, any age: milk and dairy are always allies for sport
Rosa María Ortega, Doctor in Pharmacy and Professor of Nutrition at the Complutense University of Madrid, José Armando Tellado, Chairman of Inlac, cyclist José Luis “Chechu” Rubiera, and canoeist Manuel Busto, today’s proponents
Efforts undertaken between the European Union and Inlac are making it possible for the ‘Say yes to at least three dairy products per day’ programme to reach various points of the Spanish geography to provide people with scientifically supported information about milk and dairy products.
After the editions held in Santiago de Compostela, Malaga and Valencia, the programme now comes to Oviedo. The Circus space is the chosen venue for Healthy Encounters, in which the central theme of the information is sport. The benefits of milk and dairy products for any sport, from amateurs to professionals, are the main topic of the Oviedo meetings.
A much needed programme
In his talk in the capital of the principality, chairman of Inlac, José Armando Tellado, stressed the need for a programme like this that is framed within the “European Commission White Paper on the nutrition, overweight and obesity strategy” as a way to raise awareness about the importance of milk and dairy product consumption within a healthy and balanced diet, combining food with regular exercise. “Possibly, there is no other food that offers such a high density of nutrients per euro cent, so it is not reasonable that milk consumption has decreased in the last 15 years by 30%, now standing at 72 L per person per year”.
In terms of milk and dairy product consumption today, the chairman of Inlac highlights that Asturias exceeds the national average in all segments:
Yogurt Asturias 15.62 kg per person year; national average: 15.36 kg per person year.
Milk Asturias 96 L per person per year; national average: 72 L per person per year.
Cheese Asturias 10 kg per person per year; national average: 8 L per person per year.
As a person who practices sport regularly, José Armando Tellado reminded sports fans in Oviedo about some of the reasons why milk and dairy products cannot be absent from any athlete’s daily life:
In their natural composition, milk and dairy products have 80% water, carbohydrates and proteins, which are beneficial before as well as after exercise.
Hydration and food: milk and dairy products help to achieve both.
Yogurt whey, which many consumers discard, is a source of beneficial proteins for athletes.
Proteins of high biological value: they contain two extremely important proteins: whey and casein. After resistance training for example, proteins (whey proteins) and slow-digestion proteins (casein) are important contributors to fast digestion, helping to reduce the process of protein degradation in the muscle and restoring muscle fibres damaged from practicing sport.
Especially useful for sport
Rosa María Ortega, PhD in Pharmacy, Professor of Nutrition at the Complutense University of Madrid and member of the European Programme Scientific Committee, has outlined the main reasons why milk, yogurt and cheese should not be left out of the diet of people in general and athletes in particular, since they help to maintain bones and muscle mass. In her opinion, one of the main reasons is their contribution of high-bioavailability calcium”; that is, calcium that is easy to absorb thanks to the presence of absorption promoters casein and lactose. In other foods that may contain calcium, such as some vegetables and cereals, the calcium is less bioavailable.”
According to Dr Ortega, athletes’ calcium needs can vary widely, depending on the age, gender and situation of each person. In this sense, a range could be established from 800 to 2,000 milligrams per day. “As a general rule, a 250 ml glass of milk, two yogurts and a piece of cheese can provide the body with the calcium it needs.”
Supporting professional athletic competition
Professional cyclist José Luis “Chechu” Rubiera did not want to miss the opportunity of sharing his experience at the top of the sporting competition with the large audience. Cycling is one of the toughest and most demanding disciplines. To be among the elite, it is essential to train to the fullest and give the body what it needs to be able to perform during the entire test.
Born in Gijón in 1973, yogurt, milk and cheese has been an ally for this athlete when it comes to providing his body with the nutrients needed to perform at his best and climb to the top of the sports competition, reaping success in half a dozen teams in which he has been competing. “Chechu” Rubiera has also been the Principality of Asturias youth coach. He presently maintains consistent involvement with competitive sport through his work as an ambassador for commercial cycling firms.
Dairy with the stroke of the oar
Another great figure in Spanish sport who wanted to contribute to the Healthy Meetings held in Oviedo was Manuel Busto. A native of the Asturias town of Villaviciosa, Busto will go down in the history of canoeing for having been nine-times world champion. Throughout his talk before the audience at the Circus, Busto highlighted the importance of following a healthy diet when it comes to reaching the highest levels in sports competition. Busto has always included milk and dairy in his daily nutrition, as one of the cogs in the gears with which world championships are won.
Marco Rodríguez was also among the Asturias athletes at Oviedo who combines communication work with various media of the Principality and active organisation of events where sport and dairy products come together, such as the Cabrales Bicycle Ride.
Through the “Programme for promoting milk and dairy products within the framework of appropriate dietary practices”, Inlac and the European Commission provide a solid and joint response to the need to increase the presence of these products in the daily lives of Spanish people.
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