Milk contains nutrients that are important to any well-balanced diet. Many people drink it as a source of vitamin D and calcium, as well as protein and potassium. Proponents of milk believe it is not only good for strengthening bones but can aid in weight loss. But in spite of this belief, others think milk contributes to weight gain.
Milk can beneficial to any diet or weight loss plan by providing nine essential nutrients your body needs, including daily percentages of 30 percent calcium, 25 percent vitamin D, 20 percent phosphorus, 20 percent riboflavin, 16 percent protein, 13 percent vitamin B-12 and 11 percent potassium. Calcium and vitamin D are helpful in promoting normal blood pressure, which might aid in physical activity associated with weight loss goals. Riboflavin helps converts food into energy and protein helps build and promote lean muscles.
According to USDA dietary guidelines, individuals should drink three servings of milk products each day, two for children under age 8. The USDA recommends that you choose low fat or fat-free milk. Consuming the recommended amount of milk per day can help you stay on track in your weigh loss goals since protein-rich foods such as low fat milk helps people feel full longer, says a 2005 Australian study.
In order to effectively reach your weight loss goal and maintain it, you must eat a balanced diet. Drinking milk alone and ignoring the other food groups might be less beneficial to you and rob you of other essential vitamins and mineral needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In addition to milk or other sources of calcium, daily consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and proteins as well as regular physical activity should be a part of your diet.
In a two-year weight-loss study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that adults who drank the most milk had the highest levels of vitamin D and lost more weight after two years than those who had little or no milk or milk products. The same researchers also found that adding an additional 6-oz. serving of milk was associated with an extra 10-lb. weight loss on average.
Despite the effort by the National Dairy Council to promote the idea that milk aids in weight loss by claiming that elements in milk cause the body to make less fat, the “Washington Post” reported the findings of a Harvard Medical School study of 12,000 children that showed the children who drink more than three servings of milk each day were 35 percent more likely to become overweight.