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Weight Loss Foods - Are all calories created equal?

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Weight Loss Foods - Are all calories created equal?
By Frederik 2 years ago 1240 Views

by Maylin Rodriguez-Paez, RN

 

Are all calories created equal?

That’s the question scientists have been debating for years.

The idea of calories in, minus calories out, has been the basic premise of most weight loss programs. While this basic equation is true, some foods may actually defy that logic.

Below, we’ll go over some foods that may help you lose weight and trim some fat off your waistline.

Green Tea for Weight Loss

Green tea’s ability to induce weight loss has been attributed to caffeine. Research shows, an antioxidant in green tea called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) plays an important role as well.

EGCG increases thermogenesis1, the process by which fat gets burned in the body. It also blocks lipase2, the enzyme that helps you absorb fat from the foods you eat.

In one study, overweight individuals involved in regular moderate intensity exercise were given a caffeinated drink or a beverage standardized to contain EGCG. Both drinks contained a total of 39 mg of caffeine.3

At the end of the study, the EGCG group lost more weight and had less fat around their waists.

Fiber for Weight Loss

There are several studies showing a relationship between a higher fiber diet and a slimmer waist.

For example, in a study called the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults, researchers found an association between a higher fiber diet with lower body weight and waist-to-hip ratios.4

In another study, scientists followed approximately 89,000 people for several years and collected information on their dietary habits. It turned out the people with the highest fiber intake weighed less and had smaller waists.5

Blueberries for Weight Loss

Blueberries may help to thwart the accumulation of body fat.

In 2010, scientists conducted a study examining the effect of blueberry extracts on obesity. Mice were fed either a low or high-fat diet, with the addition of blueberry in their drinking water.

Compared to the low-fat group, the high-fat diet group showed increases in body fat. However, the high-fat diet groups that received blueberry showed no differences in body fat compared to the low-fat group.6

Chocolate for Weight Loss?

If you’re trying to slim down, you don’t have to stop eating chocolate. In fact, it may actually help your efforts.

In a study, women with excessive body fat ate 100 grams of dark chocolate (70% cocoa) per day for seven days. Blood work was taken and body fat was measured by a method called dual energy-X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA).

The women lost fat around their waist plus they experienced a few other benefits. Levels of HDL “good cholesterol” increased, while total cholesterol/HDL and LDL/HDL cholesterol ratios decreased.7

References:

  1. J Med Food. 2006 Winter;9(4):451-8.
  2. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012 Nov;20(11):2311-3.
  3. J Nutr. 2009 Feb;139(2):264-70.
  4. JAMA. 1999 Oct 27;282(16):1539-46.
  5. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Feb;91(2):329-36. Epub 2009 Dec 16.
  6. J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Apr 14;58(7):3970-6.
  7. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2013 Aug;17(16):2257-66.