Scientists discovered omega-3 fats in fish oil turn ‘bad’ fat cells into healthy ones that burn calories like a furnace.Eating fish (grilled not fried) could help you shed a few pounds.
It’s likely to be more successful if you eat fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, pilchards and sardines) because research from Japan has found that fish oil can cause fat to melt away.
The study focused on two types of body fat. There’s the white kind where the extra calories we eat are stored in big bellies, love handles and saddlebag thighs.
Then there’s ‘beige’ fat cells that burn off calories – the ones we all wish we had more of.
And this is how fish oil works – it transforms white fat cells into beige ones.
It’s especially important from middle age onwards when the number of ‘good’ fat cells begins to decline and results in what we commonly call middle-age spread.
Study author Teruo Kawada of Kyoto University said: “We knew from previous research that fish oil has tremendous health benefits, including the prevention of fat accumulation. We tested whether fish oil and a rise in beige cells was related.”
First the team tracked the weight of mice fed fatty food for four months.
Then when their diet was supplemented with fish oil, the mice gained up to 10% less weight and up to 25% less fat, two things that could contribute to a long life.
But there’s another great benefit of eating fish and getting your omega-3s – you live longer.
We’ve known for decades that people from nations such as Japan, who eat a lot of fish, tend to have long lives.
Omega-3 fats, which are particularly abundant in oily fish, are known to have a host of health benefits, from keeping your blood pressure at healthy levels to helping slow Alzheimer’s disease.