Fish Oil Weight Loss
What you may not know about Fish Oil and Weight Loss
It seems that whenever a beneficial element for losing weight is discovered, we are suddenly bombarded with propaganda; an excellent example is the link between taking fish oil and weight loss statistics. Learning the truths and the myths about the benefits can help to put all of the information in perspective.
What is fish oil?
Fish oil is exactly as it sounds; oil that is derived from the tissues of oily fish. Actually highly unsaturated fatty acids or HUFAs, these oils keep the membranes of the fish’s cells liquid in cold water temperatures. Acting as a type of antifreeze, the HUFAs are essential to the survival of the fish.
As important as these unsaturated fats, or omega-3 acids, are to the cold water fish, they have been discovered to have important benefits for humans as well. Included in the many attributes of fish oil is the ability to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, enhance immune functions, decrease clotting of the blood, lessen the risk of heart disease, improve learning capabilities in children and even assist in losing weight.
How omega-3s assist in weight loss
A great deal of research has been conducted to determine the link between fish oil and weight loss. Many of these studies have clearly shown that those who consume ample quantities of omega-3s experience less obesity and have greater weight loss than those at the opposite end of the spectrum. Why? People who use fish oil have insulin levels approximately 50% lower than they would without the fatty acid, which is a vital key to weight loss. Insulin, which is naturally produced by the body, promotes fat storage when excess calories are consumed in two ways:
- It increases the activity of a particular enzyme that encourages the storage of fat for fuel
- It decreases the activity of lipase, a hormone that breaks down the stored fat to get it ready to be utilized as energy.
It stands to reason therefore that lower levels of insulin naturally decrease the body’s function of storing fat and increases the burn of fat that is already stored; thereby, increasing weight loss.
The fact that fish oil assists in weight loss has created a marketing furor. Fish oil supplements are now widely available; touting the amazing health benefits and enhanced weight loss benefits of the omega-3 acids. Marketing that concentrates solely on the properties of the fish oil mistakenly lead consumers to believe that the simple act of adding it to the diet will result in the desired weight loss.
Successful weight loss is achieved through a combination of a well balanced diet and a regular exercise program. Studies show that individuals who maintain a lower calorie, well balanced diet along with a walking or aerobic program while taking fish oil experience the greatest weight loss. Those people who simply take fish oil without making any adjustments to their diet or without embarking on an exercise routine generally experience little to no weight loss.
The truth about fish oil and weight loss
Although fish oil is not a “magic” eraser for fat storage all on its own, it has definite positive effects on health and weight loss in humans when combined with a diet of lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, as well as a regular regimen of walking or aerobic activity. Lowering your caloric intake while taking fish oil encourages the conversion of stored fat into energy; fuel that is burned away through exertion.
Learning the truths and the myths of how fish oil can benefit our overall health and weight maintenance can help to build a successful weight loss strategy.