Here’s another reason to grab a glass of milk: a new study suggests that boosting calcium intake from milk and increasing vitamin D levels could aid weight loss.
The study, published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that milk drinkers had an advantage over those who limited milk.
The researchers analysed data from 322 overweight adults aged 40–65, who were participating in a two-year weight loss study.
Participants with the highest dairy calcium intake six months into the study (averaging about 580 mg per day – the amount in nearly two glasses of milk) lost on average 5.3 kg at the end of the two years, compared to about 3.3 kg for those with the lowest dairy calcium intake (averaging about 160 mg, or about half of a glass).
The authors suggested that dairy calcium may accelerate weight loss by decreasing the amount of fat you absorb.
Dairy Australia dietitian Glenys Zucco says this study supports a growing body of research which links milk, cheese and yoghurt to weight loss when part of a reduced kilojoule diet.
"Research suggests that calcium alone can help weight loss, but the effects seem to be more dramatic when it’s taken in the form of dairy products," she said.
Australians need at least three serves of dairy foods (milk, cheese and yoghurt) each day to help meet their calcium requirements.
One serve is equal to a glass of milk or a 200 g tub of yoghurt or 40 g of cheese, but most Australians fail to consume this amount of dairy foods.
"By ditching dairy, slimmers are not only missing out on bone-building calcium, they’re also missing out on a potentially important fat fighter," Ms Zucco added.
Beyond calcium, the study also found that levels of vitamin D (which we get through exposure to sunlight) independently effected weight loss success.
So grab a glass of milk, enjoy the spring sunshine and boost your chances at weight loss.