Traditionally, calcium has always been regarded as a mineral that is good for our teeth and bones. However, only a few people know that calcium does much more than that. Data from credible resources has signified the prominent effect of calcium on weight loss. According to the American Dairy Association, those people who have the lowest amounts of calcium have higher amounts of stored fat.
Likewise, according to Medscape medical news (March, 2008), “calcium-rich diets play a direct role in the prevention of obesity."
This certainly means that a lack of the mineral calcium in our diets can be among one of the causes of abnormally high body weight. According to a study, if you are getting a low average level of calcium i.e. 255 milligrams daily, you are 84% more likely to be overweight than those getting the highest level of 1,346 milligrams per day. Similarly, by simply getting adequate calcium in your diet, as many as 80% of you can help yourselves lose excessive weight. It has been also found that people who consumed 1000 – 1200 mg of calcium daily lost about 10 pounds after a few weeks.
How Calcium Helps You Lose Weight?
Diets high in calcium increase the fat burning effect of a meal i.e. if your diet contains less calcium than the recommended range, the body releases more of the hormone calcitriol which regulates the working of fat cells in our body. Due to this increased secretion of calcitriol, your fat cells make and store more fat and your weight increases and vise versa. According to the second theory, high calcium diets may suppress fat accumulation and weight gain with a positive effect on glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, and lipid profile.
Sources Of Dietary Calcium
Foods that are high in calcium include low fat dairy products e.g. skimmed milk, soy milk, low-fat cheese, yogurt and baked beans, dried figs, broccoli, darkest green leafy vegetables and calcium-fortified food like cereals and orange juice. If your diet is not high in calcium, some good calcium supplements e.g. chewable calcium tablets should be considered. Another best source of calcium is coral calcium obtained from fossilized coral reefs above sea level.
In light of the above-mentioned facts, overweight or obese individuals who are interested in working toward better health should consider increased calcium intake along with an overall healthier lifestyle. At the same time, they should be strongly advised to eat a low-calorie diet and consult their dietician or doctor to decide about which form of calcium will work best for them.
Finally, do remember to introduce certain vitamins and minerals to your diet that help in calcium absorption as most of the calcium you consume is lost in urine. A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals help calcium get easily absorbed in the bloodstream.