Hamilton, Ontario McMaster University scientists compared three groups of 30 overweight and obese, but otherwise healthy, premenopausal women. Each group consumed either low, medium or high amounts of dairy foods coupled with higher or lower amounts of protein and carbohydrates.
Additionally, each group exercised seven days per week for four months, a regimen including daily aerobic exercise + two days of circuit resistance training/weightlifting.
At the end of four months, participants in the three groups lost identical amounts of total weight.
The higher-protein, high-dairy group experienced greater whole-body fat and abdominal fat losses, greater lean mass gains, and greater increases in strength.
The lower-protein, low-dairy group lost about a pound and half of muscle, whereas the higher-protein, high-dairy group actually gained a pound and half of muscle—a three-pound difference.
Andrea Josse, lead author of the study, says, “One hundred percent of the weight lost in the higher-protein group was fat. And the participants gained muscle mass, which is a major change in body composition.”
“The preservation or even gain of muscle is very important for maintaining metabolic rate and preventing weight regain, which can be a major problem for many seeking to lose weight.”
Speaking of the twice as much belly fat the higher-protein group lost, Josse notes, “Fat in the abdomen is thought to be especially bad for cardiovascular and metabolic health, and it seems—according to what we found in this study—increasing calcium and protein in the diet may help to further promote loss of fat from the worst storage area in the body.”
My Take on the study: I’m a bit wary of studies paid for by the industry whose product is under examination. After all, it was the American Bottled Water Association that sponsored the study that concluded it was vital we all drink eight 8 oz glasses of water daily, a recommendation that discounted the water we get from fruits, vegetables and other beverages, coffee included.
Yes, coffee acts as a diuretic, but so does water.
Sources: Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, March11, 2013 Study published in Journal of Nutrition Study financed in part by Dairy Industry