Got Hunger? Fat-Free Milk Can Stave It Off
Weight-conscious people have a new reason to drink fat-free milk at breakfast: It makes you feel more full, so you don't devour as many calories at the next meal, researchers found.
Australian researchers compared the milk with a fruit drink, and found that the milk drinkers ate about 50 fewer calories (or nearly 9 percent less food) at lunch.
In the study, results of which are published in the July issue of the American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 34 overweight but otherwise healthy men and women participated in two testing sessions: one in which they were served about 20 ounces of fat-free milk and one in which they were served the same amount of a fruit drink (both beverages contributed about 250 calories to the breakfast meal).
During the four hours between breakfast and lunch, the men and women gauged their feelings of fullness and were allowed to eat until comfortably full at lunch. The milk-drinking adults reported feeling fuller and more satisfied, so they therefore ate fewer calories at lunch.
The researchers suspect that milk's protein content (providing 16 percent of the daily value per cup), the lactose (the natural sugar in milk), or simply the thickness of the beverage may play a role in the satiety benefits. And research suggests choosing foods that can help enhance satiety is an important success factor in any weight management plan.
Experts are focusing increasingly on small behavior changes that can make a big difference when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight. A calorie decrease as little as 50 calories a day can add up in the long run. Americans may be gaining weight at a rate of up to 2 pounds per year, probably caused by an average of less than 100 calories a day, according to recent research.
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