Our busy lifestyles mean it can be hard to stick to diets and watch what we eat.
But a study by scientists in Japan brings some cause for cheer. It revealed that omega-3 found in fish can help turn ‘bad’ white fat cells into healthier brown ones that burn calories more efficiently.
Omega-3 fats, which are abundant in oily fish, are known to have a number of health benefits, including helping to lower blood pressure, easing stiffness and joint pain and even reducing the risk of dementia.
But the Japanese study revealed that fish has another important role to play in keeping us trim, and is especially important from middle age when the number of ‘good’ fat cells in our body are in decline.
Further research reveals eating oily fish also aids weight loss by keeping us feeling fuller for longer.
According to a study published in the journal Molecular Metabolism, certain brain cells can detect nutrients in food and help control appetite. Some foods, including fish, contain amino acids that stimulate these cells more than others causing us to feel less hungry.
Fish tends to be lower in fat and calories than meat, making it an ideal source of protein – particularly when you’re trying to lose weight. This is supported by a study in the Journal of Obesity which revealed that eating three servings of fish per week for four weeks as part of a calorie-controlled diet resulted in over two pounds more weight lost on average than for those who followed a similar low-calorie regime that didn’t include fish.
Nutritionists tell us that a diet rich in protein – sourced from foods such as fish, eggs and dairy – is the best way to lose weight. And eating too little protein can conversely make us more likely to binge on carbohydrates and fatty food.
The UK is in the grip of an obesity crisis, and scientists point to the fact that our bodies are not built to eat ultra-processed foods made in factories, including ready meals, cakes and sweets. These foods have been linked to a higher risk of cancer as well as weight gain. So, eating natural produce such as fish and vegetables is one of the best ways you can help protect your health as well as shed the pounds.
Being overweight has also been linked to shorter life-span, and what we put in our bodies is as important as what we do with our bodies, with an active lifestyle being another major factor in boosting health.