Many people on diets eliminate dairy products from their grocery list. But yogurt may actually help crank up your body's ability to burn fat, making it easier for you to lose the flab and maintain lean muscle, says a University of Tennessee study.
Researchers found people who included light yogurt in their diet program lost much more weight than people who simply reduced their calorie intake.
Yogurt eaters lost 22 percent more weight, 61 percent more body fat and 81 percent more stomach fat over 12 weeks.
The study included 34 healthy obese adults who were divided into two groups. Both groups were put on low-calorie diets that provided 500 fewer calories than their usual calorie intake.
One group consumed about 1,100 milligrams of calcium a day, including three servings of light yogurt. The other group consumed about 500 milligrams of calcium, a low level that's typical of the American diet.
After 12 weeks, the average weight loss in the group eating light yogurt was 13 pounds and they were twice as effective at maintaining lean muscle mass compared to the other group.
The study was presented at this week's Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego.
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