Are you a dairy lover of hater? There are many differing ideas out there about whether we should or shouldn’t be eating dairy.
Personally I’m of the opinion that it’s a great source of nutrition, and packed to the brim with essential nutrients – it’s a pretty awesome choice.
Lately I’ve come across a few interesting studies about dairy, and so I thought I’d share them with you here…
Milk Increases Satiety
One study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that drinking fat free milk in the morning helped increase the feeling of fullness, and subsequently led to decreased calorie intake at the next meal in comparison to a fruit drink.
The study showed that those who drank milk ate around 50 fewer calories at lunchtime. Possible reasons for this were the:
Dairy Calcium Leads to Fat Excretion
Another study published in Obesity Reviews, reported that diets higher in dairy calcium caused greater excretion of fat in the feces, than diets which were lower in calcium.
This study is pretty exciting, suggesting a reduced amount of fat may be absorbed by the body when your diet is higher in calcium, and therefore weight loss could be achieved.
Researchers found that the calcium effect was most pronounced when dairy calcium foods were given to people who didn’t normally have a high calcium intake, and less pronounced in those who were already eating a calcium-rich diet.
They found that adding 1241mg of calcium to the diet each day caused an additional 5.2g of fat to be excreted in the feces.
Here in UK we have a facinating TV programme called “The Truth About Food,” and each week they put studies and theories to the test. Last week they decided to put this study in the hot seat, and achieved some very interesting results.
Here’s what they did:
- Week one was a diet high in calcium (2000mg).
- Week two was a diet low in calcium (500mg).
- Crucially, both diets had an identical calorie content and were calculated to have the same fat content.
- What they discovered: In the high dairy calcium group, twice the percentage of fat eaten came out in their stools, in comparison to when they ate a low calcium diet.
So, what does this mean for you and I?
Well, it seems that adding a glass of milk to your breakfast could be a great way to reduce your calorie intake later in the day. These studies are also particularly good news if you don’t eat much dairy already – it seems you could benefit most.
Again, I must stress this isn’t an excuse to start munching on cheese morning, noon, and night – a high fat intake can still lead to obesity.
The important thing to notice with this second study is that the overall calorie content of subjects diets remained the same - they weren’t simply piling dairy on top of what they were already eating.
The current RDA/RNI for calcium is 1000mg/day for those 19 to 50 years, and 1200mg/day for those 51 years and above. To get this you should aim for 2-3 servings of dairy foods each day.
A serving is equal to:
- 1 cup (8 fl oz) of milk
- 1 cup of yogurt
- 1.5 oz of cheese (such as Cheddar)
What are your thoughts on this research?
Photo credit: Sunfox