Eat dairy, lose weight

One of the most exciting areas of calcium research is that of weight management. A body of evidence is building that suggests that at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium from milk and dairy products combined with a reduced-calorie diet can result in a reduction of body fat in children and adults.

Dairy foods seem to produce much more of a loss in weight and body fat than supplementary sources of calcium. The anti-obesity effect of dietary calcium has been shown in cellular research as well as animal studies, human epidemiological studies, and clinical trials.

One unexpected finding in some studies has been that more than 50% of total fat lost was from the abdominal region.  The central obesity (apple shape) common in men and post-menopausal women is a risk factor for metabolic syndrome, which includes heart disease, hypertension, insulin resistance (a precursor for type 2 diabetes), and type 2 diabetes.  Research has shown that exercise and a meal pattern low in refined carbohydrates can drastically reduce the risk from these diseases. We now know that the addition of low-fat dairy products can increase loss of not only total body fat, but abdominal fat.

Extra nutrients

The difference in reduction of body fat with dairy products as opposed to calcium supplements or products fortified with calcium seems to be other components in dairy products besides calcium that work synergistically with the calcium to accelerate burning of fat. The same benefits can be found in organic low –pasteurized whole milk and milk products. Remember that the fatty acids of animals that are grass-fed contain conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which promotes building of lean body mass instead of fat deposition.

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) refers to osteoporosis as a “pediatric disease with adult consequences”. Only about 10 to 25% of children and adolescents are meeting their calcium requirements. Replacement of milk and dairy products by sweetened beverages lowers the intake in children and adolescents of calcium and other essential nutrients found in a nutrient-dense diet.

Intake of high-calorie/low-nutrient-dense foods like sugared beverages leads to obesity but malnourishment in children and adolescents, as well as adults. Children need the extra nutrients from whole milk, and so do growing adolescents.  However, in the teen years, low-fat dairy products may be used more and more if desired.  The important issue is replacing empty calories from sugared beverages with nutritious dairy foods.

As a helpful resource, I have lots of articles on healthy ingredients and recipes that you can implement into your daily life.

If you’d like to dig deeper into my journey of discovering God’s plan for health and wellness, check out my book, Made For Paradise: God’s Original Plan for Healthy Eating, Physical Activity, and Rest.