DETROIT (WWJ) – Should you ditch the dairy to lose weight?

Khloé Kardashian says she lost 11 pounds in a month simply by cutting out dairy products; while other celebrities — including actress Megan Fox and the supermodel Gisele — are reported to follow a dairy-free diet.

While some people can’t stomach dairy for health reasons, when it comes to eliminating dairy strictly for weight loss, Beaumont Hospital health wellness dietitian Shannon Szeles offers this advice:

“In my personal opinion and my professional opinion, I don’t feel that cutting out an entire food group is the right way to go about doing it,” said Szeles, “unless you’re replacing it with similar foods that are going to give you similar nutrients that the dairy products would.”

Szeles said it’s important to keep in mind that we don’t know how much dairy these celebrities were consuming before they decided to stop. If they were eating or drinking a lot of it, then when they eliminated the foods, simply consuming so many fewer calories would probably lead to weight loss.

“In some of the research that I’ve done on dairy and weight loss…it really shows the research is kind of inconclusive,” Szeles told WWJ Health Reporter Dr. Deanna Lites.

Szeles said some people, who may have a milk allergy or be lactose intolerant, may see a decrease in bloating and other symptoms, “So, I think it depend mostly on an individual basis.”

So, if you do want to cut down on dairy — for instance, eliminating milk — what can you drink instead?

There are milk replacements such as soy, almond, coconut or rice milk which offer protein are usually fortified with calcium and other vitamins.

Szeles said you’ll want to make sure the milk substitutes are unsweetened because they can contain a lot of sugar and too much sugar is adding empty calories to your diet which can contribute to weight gain.

Szeles if you are looking to make a big change regarding dairy in your diet, it’s a good idea to meet with a dietitian who can help develop an eating plan to fit your health and lifestyle.

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