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Calcium Intake and Weight Loss
Calcium From Lower Fat Dairy Food May Help Weight Control
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Weight Loss and Calcium Intake

Drs. Melanson and Hill now are conducting studies to examine scientifically how and why this association occurs. Until then, they recommend people strive to get the FDA recommended daily allowance of calcium in their diets.

"The current RDA is 1,000 milligrams a day, and this RDA is a little higher for adolescents, young adults and pregnant or lactating women," Dr. Melanson said. "A glass of milk, a cup of yogurt, or a serving of cheese contains approximately 300 milligrams, so three servings of dairy per day should be a good goal."

According to Dr. Melanson, the average American typically consumes only 600-700 milligrams of calcium per day, and many are well below that level.

"We know that getting proper dietary calcium may reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life. But right now, we cannot advise people to increase their calcium intake in order to help control their body weight," Dr. Melanson noted.

He also cautioned that none of the studies so far has considered the effects of calcium supplements versus calcium in food. In general, not all of the calcium from supplements is absorbed, according to Dr. Melanson.

"Dairy products are the best sources of calcium, but many people avoid dairy products because they perceive them to be high in fat, or because of lactose intolerance," he explained. "However, a person can use lower-fat dairy products, such as skim or 2-percent milk, and there are several products available over the counter, including specially formulated milk, for those with lactose intolerance."

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Weight Loss Diet Advice

Weight loss diets should contain balanced eating plans which include all food groups. Because a balanced diet gives you more nutrition. Remember: a well-nourished body loses weight faster.

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