Fish oil, a nutrient found in seafood, contain omega-3 fatty acids, which the US Food and Drug Administration says provides benefits for a healthy heart. Studies, though, suggests that fish oil also provides help for those trying to lose weight
Research indicates that fish oil consumption and exercise leads to more weight loss than consuming other fats and exercising. Some research also shows that fish oil can stop the body from synthesizing fat.
An Australian study published in the May 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition tested 75 obese adults. The researchers separated test subjects into four groups. One group took fish oil and exercised and another took fish oil, but not training. The third group consumed sunflower oil without exercise, and the fourth group combined sunflower oil oil consumption with exercise. The subjects who consumed fish oil and exercised lost the most weight, an average of 3.3 pounds of fat per person. None of the other groups lost more than a few grams.
Scientists assume that fish oil increased the elasticity of blood vessel walls, which improved the flow of blood to muscles during exercise. The increased blood flow contributed to accelerated fat loss.
A Japanese study published in December 2007 in the Journal of Nutrition also discovered potential weight loss benefits of fish oil. By studying rats that were fed fish oil, the researchers concluded that consuming omega-3 fatty acids reduce the accumulation of fat by stopping the conversion of food into fat.
Fish Oil Sources
The best source of fish oil is naturally found in seafood. Cold water fish like salmon, trout, mackerel and sardines pack lots of fish oil.
On days when you do not eat fish, you can fill your needs with a fish-oil supplement, which is available in most drug stores and health food stores. But be aware that adding fish oil to a diet does not give the same weight-loss benefits of eating fish, which is a top food for anyone trying to lose weight. A high-fat diet with fish oil supplements are not proven to cause weight loss.
In an April 8, 2009 article on fish oil, US News and World Report featured commentary by Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health: “gulping down fish oil supplements for a 16-ounce steak is not the same as eating a moderate [-size] piece well prepared salmon. “
Fish often test high for traces of mercury and other harmful chemicals. Mercury is especially dangerous for pregnant women, and doctors recommend eating moderate amounts rather than having fish at every meal. Also observe labels for warnings about the content of harmful chemicals in the fish you buy.
Diet and Exercise
While fish oil provide weight loss benefits, never assume consume it enough. A proper weight loss plan requires a well-balanced diet and adequate exercise. After all, indicated an Australian study that people who do not exercise lose some weight due to intake of fish oil.