Saturday, January 14, 2012

Calcium: The Future of Fat Fighting

YOU’VE SEEN MORE than enough milk moustaches to know that
calcium strengthens your bones, but did you know that calcium
can also firm up your gut? Researchers at Harvard Medical School
showed that those who ate three servings of dairy a day—which
in conjunction with other foods provides about 1,200 milligrams
of calcium (about the daily recommendation)—were 60 percent
less likely to be overweight. In studies at the University of Tennessee,
researchers put subjects on diets that were 500 calories a
day less than what they were used to eating. Yup, the subjects lost
weight—about 1 pound of fat a week. But when researchers put
another set of subjects on the same diet but added dairy to their
meals, their fat loss doubled, to 2 pounds a week. Same calorie intake,
double the fat loss.
Calcium seems to limit the amount of new fat your body can
make, according to the University of Tennessee research team. In
another study conducted at the same lab, men who added three
servings of yogurt a day to their diets lost 61 percent more body
fat and 81 percent more stomach fat over 12 weeks than men who
70 T H E A B S D I E T
didn’t eat yogurt. A study in Hawaii found that teens with the
highest calcium intakes were thinner and leaner than those getting
less calcium.
Some researchers speculate that dairy calcium helps fight
fat because it increases the thermic effect of eating—in other
words, you burn more calories digesting calcium-rich foods than
you would if you ate something with equal calories but no calcium.
That’s one reason why calcium supplements, though good
for bone-building and other bodily functions, don’t have the
same effect as dairy—fewer calories to digest, so fewer calories
to burn.
And calcium has its benefits beyond stronger bones and leaner
bodies. After analyzing data from 47,000 men involved in the
Health Professional’s Follow-Up Study, Harvard researchers
found that men whose diets included 700 to 800 milligrams of the
mineral a day were up to 50 percent less likely to develop some
forms of colon cancer than men whose diets contained less than
500 milligrams. For best effect, shoot for about 1,200 milligrams
(mg) of calcium per day.
The Abs Diet recommended calcium-rich foods are:
1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (314 mg)
1 cup large-curd cottage cheese (126 mg)
8 ounces low-fat yogurt (415 mg)
8 ounces low-fat milk (264 mg)
1 ounce (1-inch cube) Swiss cheese (224 mg)
1 ounce (1 slice) Cheddar cheese (204 mg)
1 ounce mozzarella cheese (143 mg)
1 scoop (28 g) whey powder protein (110 mg)

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