Drinking Milk May Aid in Weight Loss

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It turns out that drinking milk may in fact help people shed those extra pounds, according to research published in the online version of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Adults who drank or ate the most dairy every day- equal to 12 ounces of milk or 580 mg of calcium lost an average of twelve pounds at the end of the study, which went on for two years. Study participants who got minimal calcium from dairy foods (half a glass of milk per day) lost about seven pounds.

In the study, over 300 overweight men and women 40-65 followed one of three diets: a low-carb diet, a low-fat diet, or a Mediterranean diet, eating foods that were readily available to them. The people filled out surveys detailing the amount of dairy they drank and ate. The dairy section was made up of yogurt, milk, chocolate milk, and white and yellow cheeses. The researchers took blood samples, measuring participants’ vitamin D levels, as well as their body mass index (BMI). The study concluded that higher calcium intake and greater levels of Vitamin D in the blood are linked with weight loss. It’s not exactly clear how dairy foods help people lose weight. There are many different thoughts as to why. It’s possible that eating more calcium helps the body eliminate fat through natural processes.

Vitamin D’s role in weight loss isn’t entirely understood, either. The vitamin is known as the “sunshine vitamin” because our bodies manufacture it every time we expose ourselves to sunlight, but there seems to be a weight loss connection as well. The study participants drank more milk, which is a great source of vitamin D, and the milk took the place of other foods that are higher in fat and calories, stimulating the weight loss.

The dairy study is part of a growing body of research that supports the vitamin D/calcium/weight loss link. According to 2005′s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the average adult should drink three cups of milk per day, and the results of the study seem to prove that doing so can help. Milk is full of the vitamins and nutrients that the body needs to function, and it is a great way to get calcium and protein when cutting back on other foods.

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