Friday, December 4
While some calorie-conscious people may drop dairy products when they're dieting, a new study suggests this strategy could backfire.
Research presented this week at the Experimental Biology conference reveals that yogurt may help turn up the body's fat-burning ability ? making it easier to lose fat while maintaining lean muscle.
The new study ? presented by Michael Zemel, Ph.D., professor of nutrition at the University of Tennessee ? found that individuals who included Yoplait Light as part of their weight loss plan lost significantly more weight compared to others who simply reduced calories. The yogurt eaters lost 22 percent more weight, 61 percent more body fat and 81 percent more trunkal (stomach) fat during the 12-week study.
Zemel and colleagues at the University of Tennessee studied the impact of adding yogurt to a reduced-calorie diet on 34 healthy obese adults who were randomly assigned to one of two diet groups. The Yoplait Light group consumed about 1,100 milligrams of calcium each day, which included three servings of Yoplait Light yogurt. The other low-calcium control group consumed only about 500 milligrams of calcium ? or the amount that's typical of the American diet, which is chronically low in calcium.
All subjects received an individualized diet plan that provided 500 fewer calories than their usual intake. Body weight and blood pressure were recorded weekly, and total body composition was assessed before and after the 12-week intervention by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA).
"Not only did yogurt help the study participants lose more weight--the average weight loss was 13 pounds--they were about twice as effective at maintaining lean muscle mass," Zemel said. "This is a critical issue when dieting -- you want to lose fat, not muscle. Muscle helps burn calories, but it is often compromised during weight loss."
"The moral of the calcium story is to not dump dairy when you're dieting," Zemel said. "Not only is it critical to keep your calcium levels high so you won't lose bone density, it will also help you maintain your muscle mass and increase your fat loss. A diet rich in lowfat dairy foods, like yogurt, can help make your weight loss efforts easier."
Zemel recommends three servings of dairy foods a day, particularly fat free and lowfat choices. Yoplait Light is a fat-free yogurt that is an excellent source of calcium and contains only 100 calories per 6-ounce serving.
Posted by sheeza at 06:12