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Monday
Jun152009

Spice Up Your Fat Loss

Written by: Tom Nikkola – Director of Nutrition & Weight Management

The quest to find natural ingredients that aid in the management of body composition continues. Two spices that have shown considerable promise recently are turmeric and chili pepper.

A study published recently in The Journal of Nutrition (March 18, 2009) found that curcumin, which is found in the spice turmeric, helped reduce body fat levels in mice with a dose of 500 mg/kg body weight. Curcumin, a polyphenol, also possesses antioxidant properties. Though the study was only on mice, additional studies, including those on humans, will likely follow this study.

Capsaicin, which is highly concentrated in chili peppers, has also shown promise in several studies for reducing body fat levels. Unfortunately, capsaicin in high concentrations is difficult to handle, much less digest. However, nutritional manufacturers are working hard to discover ways of delivering this powerful fat-loss aid in a way that does not irritate the digestive system.

Ideal concentrations for fat loss of these ingredients are yet to be determined. In the mean time, you may find some benefit from using the spices in every day cooking. If nothing else, it will help add variety in the flavor of the lean protein sources that are likely to be part of any fat loss plan. The effects of various cooking methods on the fat loss properties are also yet to be determined. It is possible that high temperature cooking could reduce the effects of these spices, so it may be wise to add the spices after cooking, or at least avoid high temperature cooking if you are using them.

You may have noticed the change in the seasoning of the chicken breasts at LifeCafe this year. The chicken breasts have a Jamaican Jerk seasoning with turmeric in it. It tastes great over a House Salad. The chicken is great warm or cold. You could even pick up a couple on your way out of the club to save for later. 

Share thoughts and comments below.

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

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