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Dairy: Diet Boost or Boomerang?

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

For stronger bones, it has long been advised to consume enough calcium. However, calcium has recently made news for a potential connection to weight loss. I'm hoping that this news will help dieters, but I'm also concerned that it might backfire.

Why? It indulges in the myth that consuming particular foods can cause weight loss. Wrong. Losing weight requires eating fewer calories than you expend. I'm concerned that those who want to believe that ice cream, milkshakes, and mozzarella are diet foods will overlook the last part of this story even though studies suggest that high-calcium diets, especially high dairy diets, could enhance weight loss for those already following a low-calorie regimen.

Dieters who don't consider the fat and calorie composition of their calcium sources could notice that their bodies resemble cattle rather than being lean. Therefore, be sure to comprehend calcium's significance in weight reduction before you go overboard.

the short version Blood levels of calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D, rise when following a low-calcium diet. Calcitriol increases the amount of calcium that enters your fat cells, which in turn activates the lipogenic, or fat-producing, gene expression, leading to the production of extra fat. In other words, if you don't get enough calcium, your body is more likely to create fat cells than it is when you do.

The majority of current research has concentrated on dairy products or supplements as calcium sources rather than fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, studies have only examined one variable—weight loss—instead of accounting for any additional risk factors.

For instance, we should be aware of other nutrients we might be obtaining from the calcium sources we select, such as artery-clogging saturated fat and hidden carbohydrates, as well as the dioxins included in full-fat diets, which present a risk to women and girls in particular.

The good news is that getting the 1,000 to 1,200 mg of calcium per day that is advised is easy and beneficial. In contrast to trying to achieve the same need from full-fat dairy sources, one cup of cooked spinach, one cup of nonfat plain yogurt, one cup of cooked black-eyed peas, a kiwi, and a handful of blackberries add up to 1,046 milligrams of calcium for only 450 calories.

Also keep in mind that high-protein diets may result in calcium loss, which can result in osteoporosis and kidney stones. Contrarily, a diet high in fruits and vegetables tends to prevent calcium from being excreted through the urine.

So, use caution when using meals high in calcium in your weight-loss plan. To ensure that your body absorbs the calcium you consume, read labels, steer clear of saturated fat and added sugars, keep track of your calorie intake, and eat a variety of wholesome, low-calorie, high-fiber fruits and vegetables. And avoid buying into claims that high-fat foods are miraculous diet foods. Otherwise, the only thing you'll get from the fight of the bulge is more ground.


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