A dash of cinnamon could be the secret to weight loss, says science

‘Tis the season for looking for the best way to avoid holiday weight gain, and there’s one flavor you’ll find this season that could help balance that overindulgence. If you’re a fan of cinnamon, a new study has good news for your waistline.

A recent study found that when rats paired high-fat foods with cinnamon, they weighed less and had less belly fat than the rodents that didn’t take cinnamon supplements. Other studies suggest cinnamaldehyde, the essential oil that gives cinnamon its flavor, helps mice eat less and ward off weight gain, but researchers weren’t sure if it would hold true for humans—until now.

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Foods that won't make you gain weight
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Foods that won't make you gain weight

Popcorn

Calories per air-popped cup: 30

If it's not smothered in buttered, doused in seasoning or salt, popcorn makes for a great snack. If air-popped, the light, low-calorie snack can be a good source of fiber, without the cholesterol. Plus, it's considered a whole grain! 

Celery

Calories per stalk: 6

Since celery is mostly water, the fibrous plant has been known to offer many health benefits.  

Cottage cheese

Calories per 1 cup: 222
Calories per 1 cup, low-fat: 163

A great source of calcium and vitamins, cottage cheese is a go-to snack for many looking to maintain their weight. High in protein (28 grams in 1 cup of low-fat) it's recommended highly by nutritionists and athletes. The calcium-packed snack will help you feel full as it is "associated with metabolic processes that reduce fat accumulation and accelerate fat loss," according to Authority Nutrition.

Blueberries

Calories per cup: 85

The fruit is low in saturated fat, is a great source of antioxidants and dietary fiber -- and thus, can be a healthy snack for those looking to maintain or even lose weight.

Grapefruit

With only 52 calories in half of the fruit, the citrus makes for a refreshing breakfast or snack. Packed with antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients, the fruit is known to boost metabolism and lower insulin levels -- thus, actually burning fat! 

Chicken and other lean meats 

Calories in 3 oz of skinless chicken: 142 calories

A healthy source of protein, chicken helps fill you up while giving you energy. Fried chicken doesn't count! 

Quinoa

Calories in 1 cup, cooked: 222

Not only can quinoa help you maintain your weight, but it can help you lose weight as well. Packed with iron and a plethora of amino acids, it can help you say lean and full. 

Salmon 

Calories in a 3 oz serving: 120

Salmon is one of the healthiest foods out there, packed with nutrients and vitamins such as vitamin D. It'll also fill you up, without making you crash. 

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University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute researchers treated human fat cell samples with cinnamaldehyde, and their findings in the journal Metabolism have some promising findings.

Frustrating as it is, your body is designed to start storing energy in the form of fat as soon as possible. For our ancestors, storing fat meant keeping warm and having more energy when times got tough, says study co-author Jun Wu, PhD. “It’s only been relatively recently that energy surplus has become a problem,” she says in a statement. “Throughout evolution, the opposite—energy deficiency—has been the problem. So any energy-consuming process usually turns off the moment the body doesn’t need it.” Check out these other 17 ways to get over a weight-loss plateau.

The trick, then, is keeping your metabolism going so your body doesn’t resort to fat storage—and that’s where cinnamon comes in. This new research discovered that cells treated with cinnamaldehyde started expressing more metabolism-boosting genes and enzymes. The cinnamon compound prompted fat cells to keep on burning instead of going into storage, so the researchers think it could help fight against obesity. Don’t miss these other 14 foods that burn away stubborn fat.

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Mama June in 2017

The "Honey Boo Boo" star documented her weight loss journey on her very own reality show! She is now down to a size 4 -- and she looks incredible!

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Mama June in 2013

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Khloe Kardashian in 2012

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Hard work does pay off! The youngest Kardashian sister is obsessed with exercising and documents all her workout sessions on social media.

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Lena Dunham in 2015

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Lena Dunham in 2017

The "Girls" star lost a significant amount of weight after going on a holistic diet to help alleviate symptoms of endometriosis. 

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Wendy Williams in 2012

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Wendy Williams in 2017

The TV personality revealed in 2015 that she lost 50 pounds over the course of three years with a healthy diet that doesn't include refined sugars, meat, dairy or "eating after dark." It looks like she's been committed to the strict diet. She looks better than ever in 2017!

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Ricki Lake in 2010

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Ricki Lake in 2011

The actress lost 20 pounds when she appeared on "Dancing With the Stars" in 2011.

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Jordin Sparks in 2008

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Jordin Sparks in 2017

Hard work pays off! "American Idol" alum began her weight loss journey by walking around her neighborhood and the rest was history! Her favorite workout? Zumba.

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Sara Rue in 2003

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Sara Rue in 2016

The "Rules of Engagement" star is a total fan of Jenny Craig for its simplicity. She looks incredible and totally glowing!

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Jonah Hill in 2014

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Jonah Hill in 2017

Talk about a transformation! Hill has lost weight and gained weight through the years -- depending on the movie he's working on -- but his latest transformation is absolutely jaw-dropping.

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Christina Aguilera in 2012

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Christina Aguilera in 2013

Smoke show! The songstress dropped 20 pounds over the course of one year. Doesn't she look incredible?!

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Miranda Lambert in 2012

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Miranda Lambert in 2013

The country crooner slammed critics who accused her of having weight loss surgery. She revealed that she dropped the pounds the old-fashioned way -- eating right and working out with her trainer!

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Even if you aren’t worried about your weight, study after study totes the benefits of cinnamon. Other research suggests cinnamon could help ward off Alzheimer’s, boost learning ability, and cut risk of diabetes. Weight loss is just one more reason to start sprinkling on the good stuff.

More research needs to be done before scientists know how much weight you could actually lose just from a hefty shake of cinnamon, says Dr. Wu. Until then, a little spice can’t hurt, as long as you keep the rest of your diet in check. An eggnog latte is packed with sugar, but a dash of cinnamon in your everyday cup of coffee could be a healthy (and tasty) treat. You could also add it to this expert-approved breakfast that burns fat all day.

[Source: ScienceDaily]

The post A Dash of Cinnamon Could Be the Secret to Weight Loss, Says Science appeared first on Reader's Digest.

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