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Calcium-rich foods such as dairy products were shown to help in weight loss. Dietary calcium binds to fatty acids preventing their absorption in the digestive tract.

If losing weight is on your mind and you thought that reducing the intake of dairy products will help, you may need to reconsider your position on this point. A recent study by researchers from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, showed that intake of calcium-rich dairy products is inversely proportional to the body weight and body fat, i.e. intake of high calcium actually reduces body weight and fat.

Why Dairy Foods Are Good Additions To A Weight Loss Plan

Research studies show that calcium-rich diet can actually prevent regaining weight after losing it. 

It appears to be a good idea to build a good diet plan concentrated around calcium rich foods if you are looking for a sustainable weight loss regime.

There are many studies which proved why we should include calcium-rich or dairy products in our weight loss plan:

  1. Nutrition experts suggest that our body needs calcium everyday and if we don’t provide it through our diet, it will start using calcium stored in our bones and muscles so it makes sense to have a calcium rich diet while on weight loss plan.
  2. Eating a recommended calcium rich diet i.e. around three servings a day helped the dieters to actually eat more calories without regaining their lost weight. An experiment conducted for 18 months on around 103 overweight or obese women showed that for each 100 mg of calcium ingested everyday they were able to prevent the regain of around 3.5 pounds.
  3. Calcium-rich foods help in managing the weight more effectively since they are more filling. People usually tend to opt for foods and drinks that are high in calories and low in nutrition. Researchers of Eat Right Weight Management services at the University of Alabama feel that the reason why eating the low-fat dairy foods works is because such foods help to displace junk food and sodas in the diets.
  4. Calcium also helps in regulating the energy intake and decreasing the absorption of fat by our digestive system.

Increase Calcium Intake Enhances Weight Loss

There have been clinical trials and studies which clearly show that calcium-rich food enhances weight loss. In one such study, when a group of obese or overweight adults were given the lower calories per day for weight maintenance, the amount of calcium consumed made a huge difference in their weight loss results. The whole cohort of participants was divided into three smaller groups. The first group was given a low calcium diet, the second was provided with an additional calcium supplement, and the third group was kept on a calcium rich diet.

After 24 weeks, the first group lost, on average, around 14 pounds, the group on the calcium supplement lost an average of around 18 pounds, whereas the group which was given a calcium rich diet lost around 24 pounds.

It was also noticed that the maximum of fat was removed from the abdominal area in the latter group. Abdominal fat is the main cause of onset of various cardiovascular diseases as well as Type 2 diabetes. This study clearly demonstrated that daily high dairy intake is beneficial for the fat loss. Such diet is also more beneficial compared to the taking of the same amount of calcium in the form of supplements.

Continue reading after recommendations

  • Zemel MB, Shi H, Zemel PC, DiRienzo D. (1999) Calcium and calcium-rich dairy products reduce body fat (Abstract). FASEB J. 13
  • Zemel PC, Greer B, DiRienzo D, Zemel MB. (2000) Increasing dietary calcium and dairy product consumption reduces the relative risk of obesity in humans. Obesity Res. 8:118
  • Heaney RP (2002) Calcium and weight: clinical studies. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 21(2):152S-155S
  • Zemel MB, Thompson W, Milstead A, Morris K, Campbell P. (2004) Apr Calcium and dairy acceleration of weight and fat loss during energy restriction in obese adults 12(4):582-90.Photo courtesy of Joe Shlabotnik
  • Photo courtesy of Nick Harris1 via Flickr:

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