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Every time another “fat burning” food that will boost metabolism is identified, women and men have fantasies that the pounds will fall off. The food becomes the focal point of the newest fad diet. There was the grapefruit diet, the one involving chili peppers, a fatty fish fad and countless other so-called fat burning foods featured in a shining moment of waist-whittling desires. While watching what one’s diet and working out are tried and true ways to winnow a waist, there really is truth to the claims for fat burning foods that at least help along the way.
Certain foods actually help speed metabolism, build muscle or take more calories to digest, according to studies. Here are fat burning foods or ingredients that are known to help shed unwanted pounds:
- Apples – An apple provides pectin, which binds with water and limits how much fat cells can absorb, and fiber, which makes people feel full. Some studies say eating an apple 30 minutes to an hour before a meal will cut the calories of the meal.
- Avocados – The mono-unsaturated fats in avocados encourage fat burning. They plump up cell membranes, boost metabolism, and can switch off some hormones that enable storage of fat. Avocados also contain mannoheptulose, which blunts insulin release and enhances calcium absorption, which helps strengthen bones.
- Chili Peppers – Capsaicin, the ingredient that gives chili peppers their kick, can also kick a body into gear, heating it up to melt additional calories. Eat chili peppers raw, cooked, dried, in flakes or in a hot sauce. Just work it into the diet whenever possible as a fat-burning enhancer.
- Cinnamon – This fragrant spice does not add many calories to foods and has been shown to enhance the movement of glucose into cells so the insulin that is the body’s fat storage hormone hangs around less. Studies show eating 1/4 to 2 teaspoons of cinnamon each day reduces blood sugar levels and cuts cholesterol from 10 to 25 percent. So sprinkle it on.
- Dairy Products (Particularly fat-free or low-fat) – The calcium and Vitamin D in dairy build strong bones and help preserve muscle mass, which is essential in maintaining a healthy metabolism.
- Eggs – A concentrated form of animal protein without the added fat of meats, eggs are a nutritional powerhouse. Studies have found that people who start their day with an egg every morning, they lose twice as much weight as those who eat a carb-dominated breakfast.
- Fatty Fish (like Salmon or Tuna) – Fatty fish are rich sources of omega-3 essential EPA and DHA fats. They trigger fullness and turn up the body’s fat burning rate.
- Grapefruit –Eating half a grapefruit or drinking a cup of grapefruit juice three times a day while maintaining a normal diet resulted in an average loss an of 4 pounds over 12 weeks without dieting, according to a study from San Diego’s Scripps Clinic. Grapefruit reduces insulin levels and has a chemical that prevents fat from being stored in the body
- Oats or Oatmeal – Oats are a slow-digesting carb that does notraise someone’s blood sugar and keeps people feeling filled up. In fact, research showed that athletes who consumed slow-digesting carbs in the morning burn more fat throughout the entire day and than those who consumed fast-digesting carbs.
- Peanut Butter – Peanut butter is another source of mono-unsaturated fat that aid fat loss. Just avoid the ones that are low-fat (that will not help). Stick with natural peanut butters that do not have trans fats or sugar.
- Turkey and Other Lean Meats — The protein in lean meats have a thermogenic effect. People can actually burn 30 percent of the calories in the food just digesting it,
- Whole Grains (Like Quinoa and Brown Rice) – A body burns two times as many calories digesting whole foods as processed foods.
While these fat-burning foods may spike metabolism and help burn fat. do not overdo them or any food. Peanut butter on apples may taste good but everything in moderation.
By Dyanne Weiss