Good news for ice cream lovers: A recent Swedish study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that women who have at least one serving of full-fat dairy products a day gain less weight than women who don't. Researchers aren't entirely sure why, but it's believed that a compound in milk fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) may aid weight loss. Health.com: Top 5 foods for women
Not all studies support the dairy-aids-weight-loss claim. But Gluck feels there's more evidence for than against, even if full-fat dairy's secret is simply that it's more satisfying. "Many women find that low-fat versions of dairy products like ice cream and cheese just aren't satisfying," she says, "so they may eat a lot of them -- downing hundreds of calories in the process, trying to fulfill their craving -- when just a little bit of the full-fat stuff would have done the trick."
Best way to enjoy it: Have a little cheese, ice cream, or a glass of milk each day. "You really can't go wrong with that," Gluck says. "Dairy should be part of your diet, whether you're trying to shed pounds or not. You need the calcium to maintain strong bones. And the vitamin D and CLA in milk both have cancer-fighting properties."