Dr. Perricone's Pick: Omega 3 Supplements
Dr. Perricone Discusses

Boost metabolism to burn fat and protect muscle

The litmus test of a safe and effective weight loss program is the preservation of muscle tissue and the depletion of excess body fat. The kind of weight and not the amount of weight that is lost is of utmost importance. This means eating plenty of high quality protein at each meal (remember: it can't be stored in the body, so you need to consume it throughout the day) and good fat sources such as those found in fish, nuts, seeds, avocados and olive and coconut oils.

But don't forget this key fact: inflammation is the guilty party when it comes to weight gain and difficulty in losing weight. So above all else, avoid the pro-inflammatory sugars and starches and follow the anti-inflammatory diet.

Burn Fat with Healthy Fats
We all know that in order to lose weight we have to reduce the number of calories we take in and/or increase the number of calories we burn off. When we take in more calories than we need, the excess gets stored as body fat.

Omega-3s play an important role in weight loss; they help burn off calories before they get a chance to "sit around in storage" – which means less excess weight to carry. Ongoing research suggests that Omega-3 fatty acids may be able to directly influence important metabolic genes in our cells – genes that control how we synthesize glycogen and how we store and burn fat.

Nuclear receptors known as PPAR's (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors), partition energy so that it is not stored as fat. Thus, essential fatty acids can affect gene expression by activating PPAR's that turn on the fat burning genes.

Omega-3 fatty acids can also increase thermogenesis, thereby dissipating calories in the form of increased body heat, instead of storing them as body fat.

Finally, Omega-3 EFAs also inhibit the production of the enzyme fatty acid synthase, which plays a role in the storage of calories as body fat.

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
According to a study published recently in the medical journal Obesity Research, diets rich in Coconut oil can potentially stimulate weight loss by increasing the metabolism, and may be considered aids in the prevention of obesity.

Most of what we consume in the United States consists of artery-clogging, 'long-chain' saturated fats derived from grain-fed animals. But the plant-based medium chain fatty acids (or medium chain triglycerides - MCT as they are known in scientific circles) tend to digest quickly, producing energy and stimulating the metabolism, which is why oils like coconut are popular with athletes.

A number of studies have found that the medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil are not readily converted into stored fats, nor can they be readily used by the body to make larger fat molecules.

Hot Peppers
There are four ways that capsaicin, an active ingredient in hot peppers, aids weight control:
  • Suppresses appetite.
  • Raises your metabolic rate temporarily, which stimulates your body to release adrenaline, thus increasing your body's propensity to burn stored body fat and sugars (glycogen).
  • Stimulates thermogenesis (fat burning). Capsaicin is a key constituent in many popular diet supplements: a turn of events prompted in part by the FDA's banning of ephedra - perhaps the most effective thermogenic agent - because of the risks it poses to people with heart conditions. In sharp contrast to ephedra, capsaicin is actively heart-healthy.
  • Inhibits spikes in blood sugar for about 30 minutes after it is ingested, thereby reducing the risk of an insulin response.
Yogurt from Pasture Raised Cows/Sheep or Goats
Calcium stored in fat cells plays an important role in fat storage and breakdown.

We also know that higher calcium diets favor the burning of existing body fat over fat storage. Like the essential fatty acids, high-calcium diets allow the body to keep burning food to create body heat (thermogenesis), even when calorie intake is relatively low. This is important to remember because when we are dieting and have cut our caloric intake, the body senses it and can go into a "starvation mode," in which it tenaciously clings to our body fat by slowing down our metabolism.

Green Tea
As we know, green tea (camellia sinenses) has many benefits and is well know for both its anticancer and antioxidant properties.

It also aids in stimulating metabolism. Other positive attributes of green tea include:
  • The ability to suppress the absorption of fat.
  • It contains an amino acid called theonine, a natural relaxant that won't make you drowsy.
  • Contains high levels of antioxidants that act as anti-inflammatories, and are protective for skin, brain and all our organs.
  • The ability to improve glucose tolerance in diabetic mice: an effect that could help prevent type 2 diabetes.
  • High levels of an important polyphenol antioxidants, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is believed to be responsible for much of green tea's promise in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, obesity, Alzheimer's, cancer, periodontal disease and dental cavities.
  • Topical application of low dose green tea extract may help protect against UV damage, without the common side effects.

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