Busting Myths About
Dairy and Weight Gain
Apologies if you’ve heard this before, but there’s no easy way to lose weight. That’s not just our opinion—it’s a quote from The Mayo Clinic. But there’s new and substantial evidence that dairy, rather than slowing down weight loss, can actually speed it up. 16 randomized clinical trials found that including dairy products in weight loss diets actually improves weight loss, lowers body fat, lean mass and waist circumference. Why dairy? Researchers concluded that “both higher dairy calcium intake and increased vitamin D are related to greater diet-induced weight loss.”
Remember too, that if you exercise and drink milk, any weight increase could well be muscle mass–certainly not a bad thing. According to a recent study, muscle mass gains by real milk drinkers outpaced those from both a soy drink with equivalent protein and energy, as well as a carb-enhanced sports drink. Gains in both muscle mass and fiber were especially pronounced in the legs—cause to jump (even higher) for joy. Not only that, real milk drinkers also showed a significantly greater reduction in their fat mass compared to drinkers of soy milk and sports drinks.
When it comes to kids, what they drink can be a big asset or a real hindrance to their healthy growth and development. With so many beverage choices available, including milk, soft drinks, fruit juice, juice drinks, along with sports and energy drinks, it’s best not to leave the choice to your child. Real milk contains nine essential nutrients, all of which contribute to a healthy body. And in the diets of children, milk is the No. 1 food source of most of these nutrients, which include calcium and vitamin D. To build strong bones, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends two to three servings of dairy foods (milk, cheese and yogurt) for kids four to eight years old, and four servings for adolescents to help meet calcium and vitamin D needs.