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Obesity continues to become a large scale health epidemic, and as recent research published from the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates, it’s now responsible for over half a million new cancer cases worldwide every single year.  Not to mention, it’s linked to a variety of other detrimental human health ailments, like diabetes (to name one). You can read more about that here.

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Putting aside our programmed beliefs of how one should look when it comes to health, obesity is certainly something we should be trying to minimize if we want to be healthy.

Starving yourself is not the greatest way to go about doing this, although a tremendous amount of evidence links various health benefits to fasting -which for the record is a far different practice than starving oneself. You can read more about fasting here. A great way to start ridding yourself of unhealthy body fat might actually be to eat more, but only when being more health conscious about what you eat and combining it with regular exercise.

There is evidence to suggest that yes, some foods might actually assist you in your quest to lose weight. At the same time, losing unhealthy fat is all about lifestyle, and eating proper proportions as well as having a balanced diet. Eating foods like the ones mentioned in this list may not cause you to lose weight on your own, you have to put in the work and incorporate a healthy lifestyle beyond just food. The list will, however, greatly assist you in your quest to shed unhealthy body fat.

*Please keep in mind that this list pertains to the organic version of the these foods

1. Green Tea

Green tea is a great source of polyphenol catechins. The most active form of those catechins is called Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).  This is what gives green tea its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-inflammation effects. Green tea also contains caffeine, which seems to act in unison with EGCG to assist metabolism.

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A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that green tea containing caffeine produces a significant reduction in body weight, body mass index and waistline. (1) It was a meta analysis of a number of studies that have already been conducted.

A randomized placebo controlled study from 2009 gave moderately overweight adults 1,900 mgs of green tea catechins every day for 90 days. The green tea also contained 400 mg of caffeine, and at the conclusion of the study the people who consumed the green tea lost 2.64 pounds on average and had 3/4 of an inch removed from their waistline. Their body mass index was also found to be reduced. These are some pretty promising results given the fact that no dietary or excersize changes were a part of the study.(2)

Another study observed what happened when 576 mg of green tea catechins were given to obese children daily for 24 weeks. It found that those who were the most obese had a statistically significant reduction in waist circumference, blood pressure and LDL cholesterol. (3)

There have also been a number of studies examining green tea and its ability to help people shed weight. Many studies report results of no weight loss at all, those studies do however note various other health benefits, and they also note favorable metabolic changes.

The results pointing to the fact that green tea might help you lose weight are fairly small results, leading some to consider them as insignificant. It does however have the ability to assist you in changing your metabolism, and combined with a healthy diet and workout routine it might be something you’re interested in. It’s effeminately a healthy drink regardless of what you believe when it comes to it’s fat burning ability.

2. Quinoa

Many who claim quinoa can assist in losing weight and burning fat often site a study published in 2011. It demonstrated how quinoa shows promise as a fat inhibitor. Animals that were supplemented with an extract made from quinoa seeds showed less body fat, decreased body weight and decreased food consumption. (4)

It’s also a very healthy ancient grain known to pack lots of protein, amino acids, phytosterols,  vitamin E and more, so it can’t hurt adding it to your diet regardless of whether it helps to burn body fat or not.

3. Cocoa

The American Chemical Society recently made an announcement in  the Journal of Agricultural Food & Chemistry that researchers have discovered a specific ingredient within chocolate that has weight loss and anti-diabetes benefits. (5) Cocoa also contains more phenolic antioxidants than most foods. Flavonoids, including catechin, epicatechin and procyanidins predominate in antioxidant activity. (6) Scientists have known for some time that cocoa leads the pack when it comes to flavanol-rich foods, with the potential to boost heart health, lower blood sugar and decrease body fat. Organic Cocoa is definitely a super health food.

4. Nuts

When it comes to nuts there are many studies that have clearly shown how beneficial some of them can be for human health. Studies have shown that people who eat nuts (cashews, almonds, tree nuts pistachios and more) live healthier and longer lives. It is believed that the more often nuts are consumed, the less likely people are to die of cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease. (7) Their link to weight loss comes from the fact that:

“Nuts have several big things going for them,  For starters, even a small amount can make you feel full. Scientists call this feeling satiety; it is a busy field in food research and marketing these days, given the way that snacking has become a sort of fourth meal, adding an estimated 580 calories to the average person’s daily consumption.” (8)

Nuts have also been linked to problems associated with weight gain due to the fact that people over consume them, and many of them are high in sodium. It’s best to consume organic, un-salted nuts.

5. Grapefruit

A study by the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic shows how researchers found that adding grapefruit and grapefruit juice to your diet will result in weight loss. (9)

The 12-week pilot study, led by Dr. Ken Fujioka, monitored weight and metabolic factors, such as insulin secretion, of the 100 men and women who participated in the Scripps Clinic ‘Grapefruit Diet’ study.

On average, participants who ate half a grapefruit with each meal lost 3.6 pounds, while those who drank a serving of grapefruit juice three times a day lost 3.3 pounds. However, many patients in the study lost more than 10 pounds.

“Our study participants maintained their daily eating habits and slightly enhanced their exercise routine; the only dietary change was the intake of Florida grapefruit and grapefruit juice.” (source)

Sources:

(1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19906797

(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19680234

(3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18356827

(4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21869758

(5) http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf500333y

(6) http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/ars.2010.3697

(7) http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMoa1307352

(8) http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/18/dining/are-nuts-a-weight-loss-aid.html?_r=0&adxnnl=1&pagewanted=all&adxnnlx=1418012611-VSNQpyKDUCthoZGQoivexA

(9) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16579728

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