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Dairy Helps You Maintain a Healthy Weight


When it comes to eating healthfully, good intentions can’t do all the work. Let dairy and its nutrients help!

While the research is ongoing, some studies have shown that dairy can help people achieve and maintain a healthy weight. In fact, results from one recent study showed people who ate three to four servings of dairy each day as part of a reduced-calorie diet experienced more improved body composition than those who were on a reduced calorie diet without as much dairy.1

Dairy contains two nutrients — calcium and protein — that play a key role in weight management.


  • Protein helps us feel fuller longer, which can keep us from snacking on extra calories we don’t really want or need.
  • Whey protein, which comes only from dairy, helps build lean muscle; this lean muscle contributes to burning more calories throughout the day.
  • The protein found in milk may help regulate food intake, blood glucose and insulin levels that can affect weight.2
  • Dairy contains specific amino acids – the building blocks of protein – that have been shown to contribute to reduced body fat when a high-dairy, reduced-calorie diet is consumed.2,3


  • Some studies have shown calcium to help with weight management by preventing fat from storing in our bodies. Calcium can also help break down existing fat and regulate one’s metabolism.4
  • Calcium from dairy products has been shown to be more effective in weight management than calcium supplements. This is believed to be due to calcium’s interactions with other components found in dairy.4,5
  • Calcium and whey protein may work together to promote improved body composition.4

Content brought to you by Midwest Dairy Association. 

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1 Abargouei AS, Janghorbani M, Salehi-Marzijarani M, Esmaillzadeh A. Effect of dairy consumption on weight and body composition in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials. Int J Obes (Lond). [Epub ahead of print}. 2012 Jan 17.


2 Anderson GH, Luhovyy B, Akhavan T, Panahi S. Milk proteins in the regulation of body weight, satiety, food intake and glycemia. Clemens RA, Hernell O, Michaelsen KF (eds): Milk and Milk Products in Human Nutrition. Nestle Nutr Inst workshop Ser Pediatr Program. 2011;67:147-159.


3 Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Lemmens SG, Westerterp KR. Dietary protein — its role in satiety, energetics, weight loss and health. Br J Nutr. 2012 Aug;108Suppl2:S105-12.


4 Zemel MB. The role of dairy foods in weight management. J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Dec;24(6 Supll):537S-46S.


5 Dougkas A, Reynolds CK, Givens ID, Elwood PC, Minihane AM. Associations between dairy consumption and body weight: a review of the evidence and underlying mechanisms. Nutr Res Rev. 2011 Feb;24(1):72-95. - See more at: http://www.dairymakessense.com/health-fitness/weight-management/#sthash.ehfOxd76.dpuf


Meet Midwest dairy farm families, and find more nutrition facts and dairy recipes at DairyMakesSense.com.

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