Low fat dairy for weight loss
Yoghurt, cheese and milk have been shunned by many hoping to lose weight. They are seen as fatty and because the fat is saturated also unhealthy. Many teenage girls will forgo breakfast so they easily avoid these dairy products. Unfortunately for them the research not only shows that by skipping breakfast their weight will be more likely to increase, but by consuming less dairy products they are missing out on a very useful tool in maintaining or losing weight and also boosting health.
The consumption of dairy products in general, including higher fat dairy, have been shown to have a beneficial effect on health. When analysed further, lower fat dairy (with its lower saturated fat content) is shown to be a powerful weapon in the fight against inflammatory conditions such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Not only is the consumption of low fat dairy beneficial for your health but its positive effects on weight loss are clear.
Let's look at the results of a study (Zemel et al, 2004) that followed the progress of obese men and women on a diet testing the effect of calcium and dairy on weight loss:
At the end of the weight loss period those in the 1) low dairy diet 2) high calcium supplement and 3) high dairy diet groups decreased the percentage of their total fat by 8.1%, 11.6% and 14.1% respectively. That is pretty good going, and interestingly the fat from their abdominal region - the most lethal of stored fat - decreased 19% in the low dairy diet group, 50% for those on the high calcium supplement and 66% of total fat loss for those in the high dairy diet group.
Proteins in all foods including milk have been known to help suppress appetite. What this research and many other trials suggest is that the proteins and calcium contained within dairy products may actually assist in the breakdown of fat from the belly or result in the increased excretion of it. One suggested mechanism is that calcium may bind to dietary fats and be excreted as waste. Whatever the method the result is clear – by adding low fat milk, yoghurt and cheese to your diet you will boost your weight loss results.