Many articles and blogs list different types of foods and beverages as the best foods for burning fat. But what exactly makes them burn fat so well? It's not enough to know whether the snack you are eating or the coffee you are drinking helps you lose weight. It would be good to know what these foods and drinks contain that make them ideal fat burning.
1. Whole grains and cereals. Choose grains and cereals with complex carbohydrates and fiber. Just like with milk, complex carbohydrates are necessary to regulate your insulin levels after a meal. If your insulin levels are high, your body will think that it needs to hang on to its fatty deposits. Choose unprocessed carbohydrates like brown rice, barley and oats. Due to the high fiber content, these foods breakdown in the stomach at a slower rate. The result: your insulin levels do not spike.
2. Vegetables. There are a number of vegetables considered as fat burning foods. Asparagus has asparagines that stimulate the kidneys causing a "flushing" effect in the body. It assists in the breakdown of fatty deposits in the cells. Cabbage, which is very low in calories but high in fiber, vitamin C and other nutrients, is a natural diuretic that removes waste from the body. Broccoli, another food high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, aids in the reduction of 'bad' estrogen which raises the body's natural energy burning hormones.
3. Citrus fruits. Vitamin C in fruits are said to be able to dilute or liquefy fats. Grapefruits and oranges are not only high in vitamin C but they are also packed with nature's 'fat broom' - fiber.
4. Other fruits. Other fruits and berries have their own ways of burning fats as well. Pectin and antioxidants in apples and berries change the way the body absorbs and uses fats. Bananas are potassium rich which speeds up your metabolism.
5. Low-fat dairy products. Research has shown that skim milk, low-fat yogurt and other low fat dairy products help in fat burning. Dairy products contain calcium, a metabolic trigger. A University of Tennessee study found that individuals who consumed 1,200 to 1,300 mg of calcium daily lost about twice as much weight as dieters who took in less calcium. Milk also contains complex carbohydrates that boost the metabolism by keeping your insulin levels low after eating.
6. Hot Peppers. Jalapenos, habaneros and other types of chili peppers are considered fat burning ingredients because they speed up the body's metabolism by speeding up the heart rate. Capsaicin, the substance that gives hot pepper its spiciness, is credited in creating thermogenic burn in the body. It also decreases cholesterol, adding to its fat-burning effects. The hotter the pepper, the better it burns fat.
7. Coffee, Green tea and other fat-burning liquids. One of the most popular fat burning liquids is green tea. It has a chemical called EGCG that makes the brain and nervous system run faster aiding in increased caloric burn. Green tea, like coffee, also contains caffeine which speeds up the heart rate thereby speeding up the metabolism. Caffeine is credited in freeing up the fatty acids in the body so these can be burned as a source of energy.
8. Lean meats. Sources of lean proteins like chicken and turkey are excellent in speeding up the metabolism because they require a lot of energy to breakdown. Even pork and beef, for as long as they have no fat, can help burn fats.
9. Salmon, Tuna and Sardines. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in these fishes, are considered the healthiest 'good fat' that affects leptin production. Leptin is the hormone that determines what to do with calories: either burn them or store them as unwanted fat.
There are many different foods out there that can be considered as fat burning foods like almonds, lentils, beans, certain spices like cinnamon and other fruits and vegetables. Combining these foods in your daily diet, limiting foods high in trans and saturated fats, sodium, and sugar, increasing physical activity and drinking lots of water are keys to improving your body's fat burning capacity.