Is Full Fat Yogurt Better for Weight Loss?

If you're looking for full-fat foods to add to a healthy weight-loss program, look no further than yogurt. With a variety health-promoting substances, including probiotics, vitamins and minerals, yogurt has been studied repeatedly for its role in weight loss. Although the evidence isn't clear, some research suggests that full-fat yogurt may be more beneficial in promoting weight loss than low-fat or nonfat yogurt.

Yogurt Basics

Yogurt is a fermented milk product that possesses a variety of health benefits. It provides a healthy dose of protein, along with important nutrients like calcium, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-12, magnesium and potassium. Particularly noted for its probiotics -- or good bacteria -- which live in the digestive system, yogurt may also promote immune function and digestive health. In addition to all of its potential health benefits, yogurt has been studied for its role in promoting weight loss and preventing obesity.

Yogurt for Weight Loss

According to research, all types of yogurt can play a role in promoting a healthy body weight. A study published in 2005 in the "International Journal of Obesity" found that yogurt consumption was able to significantly increase fat loss and preserve lean body tissue. According to the study, dietary calcium, which exists in yogurt, may have an anti-obesity effect. In addition, the researchers noted that dietary calcium is markedly more effective in reducing obesity than other sources of calcium. According to WebMD, boosting calcium levels can help with weight loss by promoting fat breakdown in fat cells.

Full-Fat Yogurt

Although yogurt and dairy in general can help with weight loss, some evidence indicates that full-fat dairy foods may be even more effective than low-fat or nonfat dairy. A study published in 2013 in the "Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care" studied the association between dairy-fat intake and central obesity, otherwise known as belly fat. The conclusion of the study was that a high intake of dairy fat was related to a reduced risk of central obesity, whereas a low dairy-fat intake was correlated with an increased risk of central obesity. Based on the results of this study, the fat in dairy seems to be a crucial component involved in promoting weight loss.

High-Fat, Low-Carb Diets

Full-fat yogurt can serve as part of a high-fat, low-carb diet, which can be effective in enhancing weight loss. According to WebMD, low-carb, high-fat diets can help you drop weight without negatively affecting cholesterol or triglyceride levels. A study published in 2013 in "Metabolism" found that high-fat, low-carb diets were able to produce similar changes in body weight and composition when compared to high-carb, low-fat diets. It is important, however, to remember that regardless of the macronutrient composition of foods, you must consume fewer calories than you're burning to lose weight. Full-fat dairy may prove more satisfying for some people, leading to smaller serving sizes and thus fewer calories consumed.