Burning Fat

Emmentaler e1377722980399 Burning Fat

I am always on the lookout for articles making claims of benefits for foods. Just as interesting are the articles on the negatives in foods.

Will cheese appear on either of these lists: the good or the bad?

Yesterday morning’s Newsmax article started off: “When it comes to weight loss, the hard truth is that there are no miracles: If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight…But nutritional experts know that all calories are not created equal.”

Fair enough. I agree with this part.

The article goes on to state that the fat-burning foods are those that require more energy to digest, such as lean meat, foods that are high in fiber, and those containing “good” fats. Knowing that cheese has two of those three components: the protein found in lean meat and the “good” fats gave me hope that I would find cheese among their list of these fat-burning foods.

Along with the fat-burning potential of lean meat the writer brings up the satiety angle: the satiety levels are increased. This satiety happens with cheese for similar reasons. The protein-rich foods such as cheese and lean meat make you feel full longer so you snack less.

“Protein-rich meat requires a lot of energy to digest…”

The cheese may not require as much energy to digest as the lean meat does but are we really looking for foods that require extra energy to digest? Seems wasteful. Cheese requires less energy to digest because it is already pre-digested. Cheese is a fermented food that has undergone some metabolism. This metabolism continues after the cheese crosses our lips. As for the satiety angle: cheese has those proteins (a full complement of the proteins’ building blocks, the amino acids) along with the “good” fats (some of us would say that the fats found in cheese are at least as good as those found in meat) as well as vitamins and minerals. All these nutrients, including the “good” fats provide that feeling of satiety. Which makes me ask: Why lean meat?

Avocados are mentioned in the article for their monounsaturated fats and fiber. I love avocados and I am pleased to hear that they are a source of fiber, but the monounsaturated fats? They’re nice too. It is the fiber that requires a little extra energy to digest. Since cheese has no fiber I am happy to make room in my shopping cart for an avocado.

Raw almonds? Why not? Not only almonds; different nuts have different nutritive values. They all contain some proteins, fats and fiber. It is the relative amounts of those nutrients that differ: for example, some may have a little more selenium than others. I will include almonds on my shopping list, as well as other tree nuts.

Hot peppers? Sure, but in moderation. The article claims that the capsaicin in peppers boosts metabolism. The peppers also contain some vitamin C, which cheese lacks.

Then another favorite food is listed: coffee. The writer says that one or two cups of coffee will jump-start lipolysis, the breakdown of fats. Green tea is recommended in the article for its fat-burning potential. I have a cup of it every once in awhile but I already enjoy four of the other foods much more: coffee, almonds, avocados, and peppers. I may have meat occasionally – but lean?

So where was the cheese in this article? I suppose we might say that it does not require the extra energy to digest, and that it does not trigger lipolysis dramatically. Yet it does enhance metabolism of the foods we may have eaten, the cheese itself included.

I want to see cheese celebrated for its powerful nutritional benefits including its weight-reducing potential, not only for the gustatory pleasures it offers.

- Max McCalman

Spread the curd!
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One Response to “Burning Fat”

  1. JoshWI Says:

    Thanks for the post! I have always been fascinated by the correlation between weight loss and metabolism. There is no doubt that metabolism plays a role in weight loss, which is why I always tell people to eat more, and exercise more. Starving yourself does your metabolism no favors, which cripples your chances to burn the fat!

    Thanks again!