A couple of glasses of fat-free milk each day can double weight loss, research finds.
A study of 322 overweight people revealed that those drinking two glasses of low-fat milk each day doubled their weight loss compared to those who drank around half-a-glass.
The reason could be down to the calcium and vitamin D contained in milk.
Researchers have found that around 50 percent of obese people are deficient in calcium.
In addition, among the general population, around half are deficient in vitamin D.
Higher calcium levels appear to reduce the desire for food.
A deficiency in calcium, though, can drive the appetite as a way of obtaining more of the essential mineral.
Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium.
Researchers find that consuming dairy products can help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
It is also linked to reduced body fat and increased muscle growth.
Although people sometimes avoid dairy when trying to lose weight, there is evidence that normal intake is not fattening.
A study of 19,614 men followed them for 12 years, tracking what they ate and any change in weight.
The results revealed that those consuming three servings of dairy each day did not gain weight.
Dr Greg Miller, an expert in food science and human nutrition, said:
“The good news for the public is that you can follow the MyPyramid recommendation for 3 servings of dairy foods each day and get the nutrition benefits without concern of extra weight gain.
If you’re cutting calories to lose weight, it’s important to get your 3 servings of dairy foods each day for good health and to enhance your weight loss efforts.”
The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Rajpathak et al., 2006).