A new clinical trial published last month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by researchers at Purdue University, found that women burned more fat and more calories after a meal when their diets included 3-4 servings of dairy daily.

"From the results of this study, we put together a rough calculation based on the increased fat burned from a meal that suggests a high dairy diet followed over a year could potentially result in the loss of 10 lbs of fat a year," commented Dorothy Teegarden, Ph.D., lead investigator and professor of nutrition at Purdue University.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the mechanism by which dairy and calcium may impact body composition through the body's ability to burn fat and use calories. This study was not designed to induce weight loss. In the year-long study, researchers compared the effects of a prolonged low dairy (1-2 servings) diet to a prolonged high dairy (3-4 servings) diet among 19 normal-weight women (aged 18-30 years old). They found that women who consumed 3 servings of dairy each day over the course of a year burned more fat and calories from a meal compared to women who fell short of government recommendations.