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Dieting? Don't Forget to Include Dairy

A two year study conducted in Israel recently found that consuming milk may help dieters lose weight.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Center for Health and Nutrition at Ben-Gurian University and their findings were published in the September 2010 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

300 overweight middle aged men and women were recruited to participate in the study. The participants were randomly assigned to follow either a low-carb, low fat or Mediterranean diet for a period of two years.

At the end of the two years, the researchers found that, regardless of diet, participants who consumed more dairy lost significantly more weight. Specifically, participants with the highest dairy intake (12 ounces or more a day) lost an average of 12 pounds compared to just 7 pounds among participants that consumed the lowest amount of dairy (1/2 a glass of milk daily).

In addition, the researchers found that higher vitamin D levels were also associated with higher weight loss, suggesting that the vitamin D present in dairy may play a large role in these findings.

Approximately 1 billion people are vitamin D deficient worldwide and since our body becomes less efficient at synthesizing the vitamin as we age, those rates are only expected to increase. For this reason, taking a supplement or eating more foods fortified with the vitamin is often times a more reliant and safer option. Some foods that are often fortified with vitamin D are most dairy products like yogurt and milk, as well as orange juice, cereals and margarine.

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