Fat burning foods are said to work in a couple of different ways. The first is that they make us feel full. Foods that are high in fiber create satiety, or fullness. The belief is that we will then eat less and consume fewer calories. Read, “Satiety Index for Controlling Hunger.”
In addition, high fiber foods are not easily broken down in the digestive system and require more energy to digest. The thought is that this expenditure of energy contributes to weight loss. Read, “Eating Foods that Burn More Calories.”
Another way that fat burning foods are thought to work is by speeding up metabolism. Foods such as carrots, tomatoes, and asparagus contain nutrients that raise the metabolic rate by accelerating the elimination of fat deposits and waste.
Does Science Support Fat Burning Foods Claims?
While foods defined as fat burning or “negative calorie foods” are generally healthy choices, there does not seem to be any definitive scientific research to support the premise that they actually cause weight loss.
The Mayo Clinic points out that there is no research to date that confirms that food can create negative calories. While conceding that it is theoretically possible to have negative calorie foods, no reputable scientific studies back it up. Mayo scientists also warn that diets which promote only a limited number of foods can cause a person to be deprived of important nutrients. Instead, it recommends a balanced diet, coupled with exercise.
While it is also accepted that foods high in fiber and protein will keep a person full longer and that high fiber foods cause the body to work harder to digest them, the existence of fat burning foods has not been proven beyond doubt in scientific studies.
For example, beans are low in calories and require additional energy to digest. Milk is also frequently cited as a fat burning food because the calcium in milk increases metabolism. Lean protein such as turkey, fish, and chicken also increase metabolism and are considered fat burning foods. But there’s no clear evidence that they have that effect.
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My Bariatric Life