According to a new study undertaken at Newcastle University, common seaweed contains a compound that can stop your body from absorbing fat.
The findings from the study, published in the Food Chemistry journal has revealed that sea kelp contains alginate that can reduce fat absorption by as much as 75%.
What did the study entail?
The seaweed was mixed with bread to make it more palatable to the volunteers.
Once consumed the alginate, even at small doses could reduce your fat intake by a third.
Lead scientist Prof Jeff Pearson, from Newcastle University’s Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences had this to say:
“We have already added alginate to bread and initial taste tests have been extremely encouraging.”
“Now the next step is to carry out clinical trials to find out how effective they are when eaten as part of a normal diet.”
The researchers also agreed that while this new discovery was a helpful step towards the fight against obesity, the best way to avoid absorbing too much fat was to cut the amount you eat to begin with.
Is there any more proof that seaweed aids slimming?
Seaweed has long been used in Asian dishes, yet only recently has its weight loss benefits been explored.
Seaweed contains high levels of vitamin A and C, along with protein, which makes it an ideal food for those looking to lose a few pounds.
A certain type of seaweed known as wakame contains fucoxanthin that has been shown to aid slimming, with a 2006 study on rats at Hokkaido University in Japan seeing a 5-10% reduction in body weight.
Fucoxanthin works by stimulating the production of protein, which also helps to burn fat.
This compound was also shown to reduce the levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol levels in the rats, so can therefore reduce your risks of heart disease amongst others.
Other benefits of seaweed
There are other benefits to seaweed apart from weight loss, for example it can be used to treat acne.
Studies have also shown that those of us who regularly consume seaweed experience fewer issues with mineral depletion and generally have a longer life span.
Seaweed is a ‘superfood’ that can remove those built up toxins found within your body, it has even been found to prevent certain cancers.
How to add seaweed to your diet?
It is easy to add seaweed to your diet as various health shops will sell it ready to be crumbled or sprinkled over your food.
Just be careful not to overdo your consumption and to avoid those options that contain fried meat or mayonnaise, as both will contain high levels of fat.