Calcium and Weight Loss

February 16, 2011

Who'da Thought?

We're always on the lookout for new and amazing ways to help us lose weight. There's no end of innovative - and sometimes dangerous - diets, exercise routines and use of a variety of supplements and substances to ensure that gorgeous body that always seems to be just out of reach. Yet, even in all of the messy mix, there are some real pearls and calcium happens to be just that.

When we were little kids, our mothers told us to eat our greens and drink our milk. We learned that calcium's main role in our bodies is to build strong bones and healthy teeth. And, it's true - calcium is a major factor in that regard. However, research has shown that there is a link between calcium and weight loss. As calcium intake goes up, both body weight and body fat go down. Now, that's really good news.

How Calcium Aids in Weight Loss

Research has indicated that higher levels of the calcium intake may help prevent fat storage and may raise the metabolism, thus burning more calories. But, how much is enough? One study showed that individuals who consumed 1200mg of calcium per day while on a low-calorie diet lost more weight than others on a low-calorie diet who did not take calcium. The recommended minimum calcium intake should be no less than 1000mg per day from low fat or non-fat dairy foods.

Best Sources for Calcium

If you happen to be lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy, then supplementation is a key. Calcium supplements do enhance the effect of weight loss. However, the studies showed that there was a higher level of weight loss when calcium came from dairy products rather than supplements. Goat milk is another alternative - and if you like goat milk, you'll love goat cheese. You can also purchase calcium fortified foods and juices which will give you the calcium boost you need. Be sure to read the labels of the products you buy in order to determine how much calcium is actually in a serving.

Foods That Count

Some high calcium foods that have more than 250mg of calcium per serving include: one cup of plain, non-fat yogurt; one cup of skim or low-fat milk; l cup of fortified soy milk; one ounce of Swiss cheese; or a half-cup of tofu that has been processed with calcium sulfate. Of course, there are other foods that provide calcium, however, not in large quantities. Broccoli, figs, pinto beans, spinach, peas, sardines and many other foods have calcium in them. A diet that is well rounded and balanced can easily help you meet your calcium requirements and aid your weight loss efforts.

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