Is there such a thing as fat burning foods?

As a Nutritionist I have been asked this same question time and time again. While there is evidence for and against, it has never been proven beyond a doubt that there is any one type of food or diet that can burn fat.

In reality food provides energy and nutrients

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If you want to burn fat, lose or maintain weight, then everything comes down to energy balance. Researchers are constantly looking for foods that burn fat.

Some concentrate on dairy products that have been theorized to burn fat through increasing inadequate calcium intake, or on finding a specific diet that will help burn fat like high protein diet.

Some concentrate on certain foods that have a very high thermogenic effect (which means they increase metabolic rate – the rate at which your body burns calories) that occurs after ingestion of food.

Then there are foods containing nutrients that add fuel to your metabolic fire

Once you have made a commitment to your weight loss plan and making healthy choices, try these foods for a little boost. Get your metabolism going and reach your fat loss goals!

Fish

The ever remarkable fish just keep getting better and better. Certain foods have shown to increase leptin activity and sensitivity.  The biggest connection scientists have found is between Omega-3 Fatty Acids and leptin.

Surprised?

This doesn’t have anything to do with protein, even though fish is a great source of protein.

Researchers at Mayo Clinic have found that a group of people who ate a high proportion of fish every day had lower leptin levels despite eating the same calorie loads and having the same body fat as their fish free cousins – suggesting that a fish-rich diet increased their bodies’ sensitivity to leptin.

Eggs

Concentrated form of animal protein without the added fat, eggs are a nutritional powerhouse and a perfect way to start your day.

Egg yolks, liver and wheat germ are rich in Choline – a micronutrient that has been shown to have a lipotropic effect, meaning it promotes the body’s use of fat and may help the liver dispose of “trapped” fats.

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Considering that our fat-phobic society avoids egg yolks and fatty meats, and that eating liver is not very pleasant to many, it’s no surprise that we are lacking these nutrients and as such more and more people are being diagnosed with fatty liver disease. One large egg yolk contains 125 mg of choline.

Resistant starch

Even if it is the first time you have come across the term resistant starch,  it has likely been a part of your diet most of your life.

Resistant starch is a type of dietary fiber naturally found in many carbohydrate-rich foods such as potatoes, grains and beans. It is formed particularly when these foods are cooked and cooled.

It “resists” digestion in the body, hence the name.

Though this is true of many types of fiber, what makes resistant starch so special is the powerful impact it has on weight loss and overall health. Not only does it increase your body’s ability to burn fat, but it also fills you up and reduces overall hunger.

Its health benefits are truly impressive as well.

Resistant starch is bulky, so it takes up space in your digestive system. And because you can’t digest or absorb it, the starch never enters your bloodstream. That means it bypasses the fate of most carbohydrates, which get socked away as body fat when you eat more than you can burn.

Oats

Wrongfully convicted as a source of carb rush, oats are a whole grain.  A grain is considered “whole” when all three of the part (bran, germ and endosperm) are present.

They have a number of benefits that stack with their fat loss benefit, starting with their ability to reduce the risk of heart disease by decreasing cholesterol levels, blood pressure and even the potential for blood clots to form.

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Oats being high in soluble fiber help cut cholesterol and blood fat.

They rank high on “satiety index,” which means they digest slowly and  have tremendous power to make you feel full for a longer duration. Old fashioned steel-cut and rolled oats, with up to 5 grams of fiber per serving are best.

Hot peppers

Capsaicin a compound found in chillies is responsible for the kick one gets from eating chilli peppers. It leads to increased Fat oxidation (the percentage of calories used which come from fatty acids rather than other source such as glucose).

You can try hot peppers like habaneros, jalapenos and chipotles. Try eating them cooked, dried or powdered forms.

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Apples

I like to say an apple a day keeps fat away.  Apples can help make your diet plan far more effective as they contain pectin which binds with water and limits the amount of fat your cells can absorb.

Also they are low in all of the things that you want them to be, like calories, fat, and sodium.

This is just a starter list and there are number of other foods that are great supplements to your diet and can improve your metabolism. Leave a comment if you have any questions about the article or suggest foods that have helped you fight fat.

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