Sunday, January 3, 2010

Foods that Blast Fat

Need a Fat-Burning Boost?
Add these foods to your shopping list.
by Jordana Brown ~ winter 2010

When your goal is to be lean, these foods can help you get there faster. Here's what's behind 11 superfoods.

These easy-to-find foods will fuel you up with key nutrients that help you lose fat faster.

SALMON-Active ingredient:omega-3 fatty acid
Conventional nutrition wisdom holds that you should eat salmon because it's a rich source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but we'll tell you to eat it because those fats will help you burn fat. Those omega-3's are so powerful, in fact that they can actually turn on genes that increase fat-burning and turn off genes that regulate fat storage, all while making sure your cardiovascular system stays healthy.

EGGS-Active ingredients:protein, healthy fats
When researchers at Saint Louis University in Missouri fed dieting subjects a breakfast that included two eggs, the found that those subjects reported feeling fuller throughout the day and ate less at lunch than subjects who didn't have eggs for breakfast. Incidentally, keep the yolk in there--it's full of healthy fats and vitamins A, D, and E.

GINGER-Active ingredient:gingerol
Popular in Eastern cuisines, ginger boost metabolism via two mechanisms. It appears to increase oxygen consumption by muscles, which burns more calories. It also increases lactic acid production, which in turn increases growth-hormone production, which then increases the amount of fat released from fat stores to be burned as fuel.

AVOCADO-Active ingredients:monounsaturated fats, mannoheptulose
This strangest of fruits contains a number of compounds that promote fat loss. First, it's high in healthy monounsaturated fats, which are less likely to be stored as body fat and also have been shown to reduce weight when eaten in place of carbohydrates. Second, avocados contain a sugar called mannoheptulose, which is associated with blunting insulin release, and since excess insulin is levels can go a long way toward keeping normal body fat levels.

TOFU-Active ingredient:genistein
Soy is another powerhouse food. Genistein, an isoflavone responsible for many of soy's health promoting effects(from reducing the risk of several cancers to promoting cardiovascular health), also appears to be the main factor responsible for boosting fat-burning, as it reduces appetite and abdominal fat.

GRAPEFRUIT-Active ingredient: naringin
We would never advocate a diet consisting solely of grapefruit(don't laugh, people actually do try diets like this.) but eating some may help you get lean. It would appear that the responsible party is a compound called naringin, an antioxidant with fat-blasting properties. It's an ideal snack or a great addition to any meal.

POMEGRANATE-Active ingredients:massive antioxidant load, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
Scientists are still hard at work uncovering all of the health benefits of this ancient fruit, but as of now, we know that it is 300 times better than its fellow fruits at protecting nitric oxide(NO) in the body. Since NO is associated with increased fat-burning, it's worth protecting. New research also shows an added benefit to eating pomegranate seeds, called arils. They contain CLA, which, in the study, helped rats fed a high fat diet to gain less weight.
Try this: Mix a scoop of whey protein with 1 cup of 100% pomegranate juice for the perfect preworkout shake.

DAIRY-Active ingredients:calcium, protein
Research abounds that dairy products can help you lose weight. One review concluded that diets high in calcium slow fat storage and increase both thermogenesis (fat-burning) and metabolism. Another study found that when people drank two glasses of skim milk with breakfast, they felt fuller and ate less at lunchtiem than people who drank juice-thanks to milks's protein content.

CHILI PEPPERS-Active ingredient:capsaicin
It's the compound that makes chilis spicy, and inthe body, it spices up your metabolism by triggering an increase in the hormone adrenaline. Studies, including a new one published in the journal Clinical Nutrition, have found that capsaicin can even reduce hunger and increase satiety, or feelings of fullness, to help you eat less. It also appears to annihilate fat cells, directly reducing fat stores.
Try this: Combine 1/2 cup orange juice, 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 sliced jalapeno pepper to make a spicy marinade. Add 2 chicken breasts and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour or up to 24 hours. Then cook as desired.

GREEN TEA-Active ingredients:epigallocatechin gallate(EGCG), caffeine
While caffeine is well-known fat burner, it is not the most powerful component of green tea. Instead, EGCG, the phytochemical also responsible for green tea's myriad health benefits, has been shown to increase metabolic rate and burn through fat.
BONUS: Drink 3 cups a day for best results.

SPINACH-Active ingredients:glutathione,alpha lipoic acid, fiber
A cup of cooked spinach contains a mere 41 calories and two powerful detoxifying nutrients-glutathione and lipoic acid-along with soluble fiber, which performs the nifty fat-ridding job of binding to bad cholesterol(LDL) in your digestive system and dragging it out of your body.
Try this: use pre-bagged spinach as the "lettuce" in your sandwiches and salads, heated in soups and wilted in pasta.

Get a variety of color in your diet to ignite your body's fat-burning furnace.

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