Just three servings of yoghurt can double weight loss, studies suggest.
People in the study who ate yoghurt each day doubled their body fat loss, compared with a comparison group who were on a low-dairy diet.
The calcium and vitamin D in yoghurt may be responsible for the weight loss.
Calcium is thought to help weight loss by signalling the body to stop storing fat and start burning it.
Calcium deficiency, in contrast, can boost cravings for food to try and obtain more of the essential mineral.
Vitamin D may help to support weight loss partly through its role in aiding the body in absorbing calcium.
The study included 63 people enrolled in two separate studies.
In both, people were put on either low-dairy or high-dairy diet for 24 weeks.
For the high-dairy diet, people ate three servings of dairy, giving them the equivalent of 1,200 mg of calcium per day.
The results of one study showed that those on the high-dairy diet lost 4 pounds.
Professor Michael Zemel, that study’s first author, said:
“When we put people on diets that include three servings of yogurt a day, we-re able to nearly double the amount of fat that is lost, compared to people on a low-dairy diet.”
In comparison, those on the low-dairy diet lost nothing.
The second study found double the weight loss in the high-dairy group.
The study’s authors summarise the results:
“This study suggests that three servings of dairy foods per day produce significant reductions in total and central adiposity in obese African‐American adults—an outcome achieved without weight loss or caloric restriction.
We also found that dairy foods accelerate loss of weight and total and central adipose tissue mass secondary to energy restriction.”
The study was published in the journal Obesity Research (Zemel et al., 2012).