Men and women are as different when it comes to following dietary recommendations re restricting dairy products.

Clifford Fram Source: AAP

A study of 86 adults on a weight-loss program has found women were more successful at following advice than men when they were urged to eat fat-free dairy products.

Researcher Dr Deborah Nolan-Clark says the men tended to reduce dairy products overall rather than change to low-fat alternatives. This could be because men prioritise taste and convenience.

Women followed the recommendations, but negated the benefits by eating reduced-fat dairy products higher in carbohydrates, such as sweetened yoghurt.

"They were not having an overall reduction in energy consumed," said Dr Nolan-Clark on Thursday.

Both men and women decreased their daily number of dairy servings.

The findings, which have been published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, emphasise the need for dietitians to consider an individual's gender, food preferences and total diet.

"There is no one-size-fits-all in relation to reduced-fat dairy advice."

For some people it might be appropriate to have full-fat dairy included as part of a healthy eating plan low in saturated fat overall, says Dr Nolan-Clark, who conducted the research while at the University of Wollongong's Smart Foods Centre.

"Dairy is a great source of calcium, a mineral that many Australians are not getting enough of.

"For those who would rather cut out dairy than switch to low-fat varieties, it may be important to reduce energy and saturated fat intake in other areas so these foods can still be enjoyed."

Dietitians Association of Australia spokesperson Melanie McGrice supports the need for individual dietary advice.

"As a dietitian I find giving advice to men and women is very different."

She advises people who have weight issues to see a registered dietitian.

"People are much more aware about their diet, but they are confused. People are focussed on diet foods instead of foods that are rich in nutrition.

"Weight management involves looking at the bigger picture."



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