There’s this idea out there that there are certain foods that if you eat them, you’ll actually burn fat. But, is there any truth to this idea – are there foods that burn fat?
The concept is that there are certain foods that can boost your metabolism, causing you to burn off your fat stores. For example, because protein take more energy to digest than carbs, if you just eat enough egg whites, you’ll end up burning fat.
Unfortunately, that’s not how things work. If you think about it – how could it? Having a big steak for dinner doesn’t mean you’ll weigh less when you get on the scale in the morning! And, no matter what you eat, your body will expend energy to digest it – but there’s now way you’ll ever burn more calories than you just ingested – your body is designed to be very efficient in burning less than you take in, and storing that excess for later. It’s only been within the last few generations of the human race where we actually have easy, consistent access to food. Our body’s have not caught up in the last century to deal with an overabundance of food – our bodies still want to take that excess that we take in, and store it away for later, in case there isn’t food later.
But, research is showing there are some foods that you’ll absorb less calories from, which can help your body pack away “less” than you’re ingesting. David Baer, M.D., from the U.S. Department of Agriculture has studied the energy value of pistachios, for example. His team discovered that the amount of calories absorbed from pistachios was actually five percent less than the number of calories on the nutrition facts panel for the pistachios. Now – that’s not a lot. But it does show that there are foods that we eat that your body doesn’t absorb every calorie from. Some isn’t digested – especially if it has fiber and / or protein as part of its makeup. They also found this to some degree with apples, sweet potatoes, carrots, and beef.
What does this mean for you? Simple. Make sure you incorporate more protein and fiber-rich foods into your diet – it can help you absorb less of the calories that you eat – and when combined with a good exercise program, you’ll be in a better position to shed those extra pounds.