A study conducted by scientists from the University of Iceland investigated the effect of habitual fatty fish consumption or fish oil supplementation on weight control in a group of approximately 300 overweight adults. The research was published in the October 2007 issue of the “International Journal of Obesity.” The scientists found that consuming fish or taking fish oil supplements boosted weight loss by approximately 1 kilogram over the one-month follow-up period. Dieters also noticed improvements in blood cholesterol levels — a risk factor for heart disease.
“I ate a very low-calorie diet. I stayed away from red meat and ate a lot of fish, replaced pasta and rice with quinoa,” says Pop-R&B superstar Beyonce who lost 57 pounds gained during pregnancy.
How Fish Assists in Weight Loss?
- Appetite Management: Fish intake during weight loss helps reduce the hormone leptin — a hormone produced by fat cells that promotes hunger. Previous findings have linked elevated levels of leptin, which is produced by fat cells in the body, to fight obesity and cardiovascular disease. The substance seems to tell the body when it has consumed enough food, and researchers posit that obese people somehow lose the ability to recognize these chemical cues.
- Fish oil boosts the levels of ghrelin – a hormone that promotes fullness. Fish is a food that is full of satisfying flavor.
- Reduced activity of the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase: In humans, HMG-CoA reductase is the rate-limiting step in cholesterol synthesis and represents the sole major drug target for contemporary cholesterol-lowering drugs.
- Low in calorie and stocked with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. All types of salmon are high in omega-3s, ranging from about 750 mg to 1,270 mg per 75-gram serving, promising nourishment while you lose weight. Salmon, Sardines, Mackerel, Eel & some Tuna are perfectly suitable to eat and very healthy because of their high omega-3 fat content – Fat does not make you blow up – you must remember that! Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids increase insulin sensitivity and reduce circulating levels of insulin. This bodes well for fat loss. Insulin is a hormone that promotes fat storage, and higher levels of insulin suppress growth hormone, a hormone that promotes fat loss.
- Perfect Protein Source: Fish and shellfish are lean complete protein foods which are rich in essential minerals. Examples include shrimp, scallops, clams, tuna, salmon, halibut, whitefish, cod and swordfish. According to MayoClinic.com, 1 oz. of red meat, pork, poultry or fish provides 7g of protein. Protein is essential for building and maintaining muscles, as well as repairing the muscle damage that occurs during training.
- Fish cooks quickly: In today’s modern times when every body is time pressed, steaming one piece takes a few minutes, and a whole fish baked in the oven takes less than half an hour. The rule of thumb for baking fish is to cook 8 to 10 minutes per inch of thickness, measured at the fish’s thickest point. For grilling and pan-frying or broiling, cook 4 to 5 minutes per inch of thickness.
To succeed at long-term weight loss, it’s important to learn new ways of eating that you enjoy. You can lose weight easily when you enjoy healthy foods, like fish, and prepare delicious, yet low-fat, fish recipes. Aim to eat two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, sardines or trout.