Does Dairy Make You Fat?

There is a long standing debate as to weather dairy products can make you fat. There are two approaches to the dairy debate: the first is that low fat dairy products are good for you and the second is that dairy does indeed make you fat. While trying to navigate through the diet world, dairy can be a daunting mystery.

The Goods on Dairy

Dairy is a great source of calcium, calcitriol, protein and vitamins B and D and so much more, which means if you’re eating a dairy rich diet it’s going to be much easier to get some essential nutrients that will help your body look its best. Calcitriol conserves calcium to help with strong bones while at the same time helping your body burn more body fat. Research shows that calcium specifically from dairy products can boost weight loss by improving fat breakdown in fat cells. At this time researchers don’t know why calcium from dairy is more effective on weight loss than calcium from other sources. It may be the other rich nutrients that are in dairy products. The simple truth is that the calcium in dairy is more effective for weight loss.

Studies have shown that there is a direct link to dairy intake and loss of body fat. A dairy rich diet combined with calorie control can increase body fat loss and prevent weight gain. The same results were not there for those who skimped on the dairy and only took the supplements for the nutrients provided by dairy.

A dairy rich diet is good for the body, because the calcium in dairy can help maintain strong bones to prevent osteoporosis and can help prevent colon cancer.

The Sour on Dairy

Some sources of dairy have high sodium. If you’re trying to lose weight or just look better, having high sodium in your diet isn’t good, since it can make you puffy. If you’re lactose intolerant, dairy would be a bigger concern since it can make you bloated. The downside of a dairy rich diet is that some studies have linked dairy to a higher risk of some types of cancer.

To Dairy or Not To Dairy?

To answer the question, no. Dairy does not make you fat. Dairy can actually aid in weight loss if consumed with a proper diet.

To add three servings of low fat dairy to a sensible diet with moderate calorie intake would be a good thing. If eaten in moderation and with low fat choices, dairy is good. A diet of ice cream every night on the other hand wouldn’t be so good.  

Just like with any strongly debated topic, dairy is no exception. There are many thoughts and ideas on the good in dairy and there on many on the bad. Most research at this time though leans toward the good, and that there isn’t enough evidence in the column of the bad.

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Posts By Sequoia
  • Faye

    Can you please site the sources for this research on dairy promoting (or at least not preventing) fat loss? This is a huge source of debate with my trainer and I would be interested to show him this research if it can be be backed up.

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

  • 3FC

    Hi Faye,

    In response to your question:

    Research was done in 2004, there was a study done and published in Obesity Research in April 2004. Study showed that group who ate high dairy lost more weight, average of 24 lbs vs 19 lbs. There is also information on this in WebMD news archives.

    Thanks
    From the 3FC team-