Can that bottle of safflower oil in your kitchen cabinet help you lose weight? Recent research suggests that it may help stimulate loss of abdominal fat.
Low fat diets were once all the rage for weight loss. While they can still be effective for reducing weight and improving heart health, more recent studies show that it’s important to have some fat in the diet – particularly the right kinds of fat. Some studies show that diets that are higher in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats can actually help with weight loss by decreasing hunger and boosting metabolism. Now, new research suggests that safflower oil may be effective for decreasing waist size and abdominal fat.
In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers tested the effects of both safflower oil and another supplement called conjugated linoleic acid on body weight in obese, postmenopausal women. They found that women who took the conjugated linoleic acid experienced a loss of body fat as well as a decrease in BMI, while women who supplemented with safflower oil showed declines in waist and abdominal size along with a decrease in blood sugar levels..
Why Does It Work?
Safflower oil is one of the richest oils in terms of polyunsaturated fats and it contains a special polyunsaturated fat called cis-linoleic acid. The cis-linoleic acid found in safflower oil stimulates the activity of brown fat – the type that’s more commonly found in children and people who are thin. When brown fat is activated by the cis-lineic acid, it burns off the more common form of fat in the body – white fat. This may account for the drop in abdominal body fat seen in these women.
How Much Do You Need?
How much safflower oil do you need to get this waistline slimming effect? The women in this study about 1 2/3 teaspoons per day which is manageable for most women. Using safflower oil for weight loss may be particularly effective for diabetics since it also helps to lower blood sugar levels.
The Bottom Line?
Adding 1 2/3 teaspoons of safflower oil to your diet could give some waist and abdominal slimming benefits if used consistently. Since safflower oil contains 120 calories per tablespoon, it’s important to cut back on fat in other areas, otherwise you’ll be taking in more total calories. Conjugated linoleic acid also helped with weight loss in this study, but previous research looking at its weight loss benefits has shown mixed results. If you’re looking to lose body fat in the midline, stick with safflower oil instead.