Monday, 19 October 2009

Can Drinking Milk Help You Lose Weight?

Milk may help you lose weight. Maintaining a normal body weight may be difficult but is an important part of diabetes management. Some studies have shown, that a calcium-rich diet may help some people (that have Type 2 diabetes) lose some weight. You no doubt have read at one time that milk will make you stronger, maintain good bone structure, help you sleep better, help fight cavities, etc. But can it also help you lose weight?

Recently a group of researchers in Israel have asked this question. They are trying to figure out if consuming calcium in dairy foods would have an effect on weight loss among over-weight people. Although some data is not totally conclusive, a growing number of studies suggest that a diet rich in calcium helps prevent obesity. One study showed that people who ate two servings of yogurt per day for a year more than doubled their calcium intake and lost some body fat. And there are some experts that think dairy foods may have an important impact on diabetes risk factors (especially obesity) since obesity and diabetes have become more common over the past 25 years. And drinking less milk may have been a factor. But that doesn't mean drinking more low-fat or non-fat milk and eating low-fat dairy products can help people lose weight, or does it?

Researchers studied the health information of about 250 people (average age of 55) with diabetes, which were already taking part in a study to compare three types of diets. They could choose the type of low-fat dairy products they ate or drank. After 6 months, the results showed that eating more low-fat dairy foods helped overweight people with Type 2 diabetes lose weight - even though that had consumed more calories and fat.

The group with the highest calcium intake lost an average of 8 to 9% of their starting weight. The group with the medium calcium intake lost an average of 7 to 7.5% of their starting weight. The group with the lowest calcium intake lost an average of 6 to 6.5% of their starting weight.

Like all diets, the researchers also stated that a diet like this is difficult to maintain for a long period of time. They suggested that overweight people with Type 2 diabetes, may be more successful on a diet that offers a variety of low-fat, tasty dairy products and larger portions, since they may be more likely to stick with this type of diet. And low-fat dairy products offer more nutritional pluses than other types of animal protein, since they are lower in fat and higher in calcium content. So low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese may help you lose weight.

But before you jump into a high dairy diet like this, consult your doctor since these types of diets have been reported to have some negative effects. One study suggested that taking more than 1,500 milligrams of calcium per day may be linked with the possibly of increased prostate cancer. And there has also been a question on whether or not there may be a risk factor in the development of breast cancer. But one study showed no such relationship.

So the best thing you can do is work with your dietitian or a diabetic team to lay out and identify the best eating plan for you. And don't forget, portion control is very important since even low-fat dairy products can be high in calories.

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