Boning Up On Weight Loss

It's an unfortunate fact that the effort of losing weight is often accompanied by a loss of bone minerals. This is an especially important issue for middle aged and older dieters. But it doesn't have to be that way. Researchers from the University of Illinois published a study in the June edition of the Journal of Nutrition that demonstrates how a high-protein diet can help preserve bone density as well as muscle mass while lowering blood sugars and lipids.

Scientists recruited 130 overweight middle aged men and women and assigned half to a diet with roughly 30% of the calories from lean meats, low-fat dairy and other protein-rich foods. They also received 5 servings of vegetables and 2 to 3 servings of fruit each day. The other group consumed a conventional weight-loss diet based on the food pyramid. At the end of a year, both groups lost 10.5% of their body weight on average. Bone density remained stable only with the protein eaters, although their urinary levels of calcium were higher.

The Bigger Picture: Through a combination of protein, calcium and the vitamin D that dairy products were fortified with, bone health was effectively supported while the dieters lost an impressive amount of weight. Exercise was not mentioned in this study, but making it a component of your diet program is another good way to promote bone health. Working out won't do your muscles any harm either.
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