CLA and Weight Loss: CLA Content of Dairy Foods

Diet news always gets my attention. Not because I’m on a diet. Not because I do such things as weigh myself. I don’t do those things anymore. But I do still read about them. :)
A specific beneficial fatty acid called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is associated with weight loss, according to the May 2007 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of CLA-weight loss studies and found that with 3.2 grams a day of CLA, people lost about one fifth of a pound a week compared to the control group. With 52 weeks in a year, that’s just over ten pounds in a year. At just under $15 a month, that is $200 for ten pounds. It’s the best deal in town if it works in your case.

The study makes me wonder how much of this beneficial fat I have in my diet. Dairy and beef products from grass fed cows and cattle feeding are good sources of CLA. Today I looked up some dairy information.
A 1999 study in the Journal of Dairy Science studied the CLA content of the milk under different feeding systems. 100% corn-fed cows produced milk with the lowest content of CLA. Cows on pasture produced more. In the pasture-fed group, researchers looked at cows varying degrees of their nutrients from pasture. Some cows received 1/3, some 2/3, and some all of their nutrients from pasture. In the first two groups, the remaining portion of their feed was made up of alfalfa hay and concentrates.
Based on the results of their study, I estimated the amount of CLA for one cup of milk, a tablespoon of butter, and a tablespoon of cream. I assumed that the cup of milk had 9 grams of fat, the butter 11 grams of fat, and the cream 6 grams of fat. (This is the fat content on the Organic Pastures product labels.)
In the figure you can see that as the diet of the cow is directly related to the content of the beneficial CLA in the milk. In a day, a cup of milk, two tablespoons of butter, and a tablespoon of cream would yield almost 1000 milligrams of CLA – about 1/3 of the target amount from that CLA/weight loss study. I will have to calculate the amount in beef as well.
The take home lesson for me is to keep consuming pastured dairy products. They have beneficial fats and may even aid in weight loss. For serious weight loss on the order of a few pounds a month, less time at this computer is probably my best strategy.
Pastured Cows: If you are into pastured cows, you will probably be intrigued by my snooping of a local large organic dairy that just lost its certification. We made a video eulogy to the dairy that you can view in the previous link or directly on YouTube.

6 Responses to CLA and Weight Loss: CLA Content of Dairy Foods
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  6. Great piece. Certainly proper amount of nutrients and minerals that we intake are much crucial.Thanks for the thought!!

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