Inflammation and weight gain are intimately connected as inflammation can contribute to insulin resistance which is an underlying cause of weight gain, prediabetes, and type 2 diabetes.
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Fats play a vital role in managing inflammation as some fats are inflammatory and other fats such as the essential omega 3 fats found in fish oil are anti-inflammatory. The benefits of fish oil for weight loss and managing inflammation are profound.
The connection between omega 3 and weight loss comes down to the ability of the body to reduce inflammation with the anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats found in fish oil.
In a study done in mice, a high-fat diet was used to promote fat accumulation resulting in inflammatory markers being raised and causing insulin resistance and glucose intolerance.
The administration of fish oil to the very same mice was shown to reduce the negative effects of the high-fat diet. The mice given fish oil had reduced body fat, improved insulin sensitivity, and a reduction of inflammation.
The adipose tissue which stores excess fuel as fat plays a central role in the control of metabolism. An excess of adipose tissue is associated with obesity (weight gain), type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
Inflammation and fat accumulation are the primary causes of weight gain and insulin resistance.
Another study showed that the chronic overfeeding of a high-fat diet in mice caused an increase in body weight and fat accumulation.
Along with these mice developing more adipose tissue (body fat) they also developed an intolerance to glucose and insulin and had higher blood glucose levels which are the symptoms of prediabetes. But they were able to prevent these exact conditions from developing by co-treatment with fish oil!
This demonstrates the powerful benefits of taking fish oil for weight loss and preventing the development of insulin resistance.
When we understand that fat accumulation in adipose tissue leads to insulin resistance and inflammation as a result of overfeeding on a high-fat diet it becomes easy to understand how to lose weight and reverse insulin resistance by using the power of an anti-inflammatory diet high in omega 3 fats.
Now you may be wondering what makes fish oil and omega 3 fats beneficial for weight loss when it was a high-fat diet that was used to induce obesity in the mice.
The answer lies in understanding the various types of fat and their role in managing inflammation in the body because not all fats are equal as you will soon find out.
Saturated fats found in coconut oil, coconut cream, butter, cheese, and animal fats can be converted into a pro-inflammatory compound in the body called arachidonic acid.
The omega 3 fats found in fish oil are converted into anti-inflammatory prostaglandins that help to modulate and reduce inflammation in the body which is crucial to lose weight and reverse insulin resistance.
The omega 3 fats also need to be in balance with the omega 6 fats which can be converted into pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid as well.
These days omega 6 fats are found everywhere such as in fried foods, baked goods, and store-bought salad dressings. As a result, many people's diet is very high in omega 6 fats and low in the essential omega 3 fats.
The consumption of saturated fats and omega 6 fats are prevalent in so many foods and the ratio of omega 6 fats to omega 3 fats have been thrown way out of balance.
The best foods that help with inflammation and weight loss are the anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats found in fish oil which contains EPA and DHA.
The foods highest in EPA and DHA include wild-caught fish such as sardines, salmon, mackerel, and herring.
The essential alpha-linolenic acid (Omega 3 fats) is also found in plant foods such as flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and pecans which are converted into EPA and DHA in the body. Other vegetables high in omega 3 fats include spirulina, dried seaweed, red peppers, leeks, and spinach.
The only problem with plant-based omega 3 fats for reducing inflammation and weight loss is that not everyone converts plant-based ALA into EPA and DHA very well.
Genetic testing can determine if someone has SNPs in the enzymes involved with these conversions and whether you are likely to be a good converter or poor converter of ALA into EPA and DHA.
To be sure you are getting the omega 3 weight loss benefits it is best to use a fish oil supplement or eat wild-caught fish high in EPA and DHA.
Wild-caught fish are some of the best foods that help reduce inflammation in the body by providing the body with anti-inflammatory fats.
Combining a low saturated fat diet with a diet high in omega 3 fats found in fish oil and anti-inflammatory fruits and vegetables that are low in calories yet high in antioxidants and nutrients is one of the best ways to lose weight, reduce inflammation and reverse insulin resistance.
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Hey! I'm Amber, a nutritional therapy consultant helping people to improve digestion, beat the bloat and lose weight. Sharing weight loss tips, gut health tips and whole food recipes that are gluten free. Grab your freebie below:)
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