Monday, February 28, 2005

Can milk be considered to be one of the fat burning foods ?

There are some researchers who believe that there is a case to support this.

Mainstream dietitians and doctors will probably tell you that there is not enough evidence to say that milk can be a fat burning food and that some of these studies may be motivated by interested parties such as dairy boards and so on. On this point they are probably right, but one cannot help but notice that the research that exists does represent a significant lead that needs to be followed through by independent researchers to determine if and how the properties of milk could help in weight loss and weight maintenance.

Zemel et. al. recently published in the Obesity Research periodical a paper outlining his study titled "Calcium and dairy acceleration of weight and fat loss during energy restriction in obese adults." Zemel states in his paper that low-calcium diets increase lipid accumulation and lipogenesis and that high-calcium diets in rats increases fat loss. He conducted a study with 32 obese adults who were broken into three groups - those who received a standardised diet, those who received a high-calcium diet and those who received a high dairy diet. Zemel observed that participants in the standardised diet group, "6.4 +/- 2.5% of their body weight was lost, which was increased by 26% (to 8.6 +/- 1.1%) on the high-calcium diet and 70% (to 10.9 +/- 1.6% of body weight) on the high-dairy diet"

While one study cannot say conclusively that a particular food can be considered to be one of the fat burning foods, it is always beneficial to know that specific foods may be of special benefit when used in a balanced eating routine.

It's also worth noting that studies like these should not be used to make conclusions about foods for weight loss in isolation.

The key dietary guidelines that you need to adopt for weight loss and health, (not as exciting as saying "this supplement or food will make you lose weight") is:

1. Eating enough fruit and vegetables every day (7 serves),

2. Eating atleast 30 gram of fiber each day,

3. Cutting your fat intake to 30 % or less per day and then replacing your fat intake with unsaturated fats,

4. Eating wholegrain cereals and breads,

5. Consuming low fat sources of protein,

6. Drinking enough water (2 liters per day - not enough water intake on a daily basis can lead to such things as kidney stones),

7. Consuming low fat dairy,

8. Low salt products - many products contain salt - look for low salt or no salt alternatives,

9. Reduce your alcohol and sugar consumption.

It's true its not as exciting as saying that drinking milk can help you to lose weight. But it's tried and true and if you combine these fat burning foods strategies with exercise, weight loss will come eventually.