Weight loss is often one of consumers’ top resolutions for the New Year. While the basic premise of losing weight is to consume less calories than calories burned, weight management has evolved over the years and includes a focus on burning fat, building lean muscle, boosting metabolism and suppressing appetite. In the January issue of Food Technology magazine published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), contributing editor Linda Milo Ohr writes about six ingredients that can play a role in weight management.
Nuts are not only nutritious and convenient, they also provide satiety making them ideal snacks for weight management. A one ounce serving of almonds (about 23 nuts) provides 129 calories including protein, fiber, unsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals. A serving of pistachios (about 49 nuts) at 160 calories has more nuts per serving than any other snack nut. A study showed that short-term pistachio consumption helped decrease body weight and body fat in young, healthy adults compared to a refined carbohydrate snack (Hernandez, 2012).
Inulin, oligofructose, and fructooligosaccharides (all fibers) are prebiotics that aid in calcium absorption, contribute to satiety, and can also function as fat mimetics (an ingredient that mimics the qualities of fat) and bulking agents to help reduce calories in food and beverages. Consumers often eat less of foods with added fiber due to the fact that it increases a feeling of fullness faster.
Pulses which include dry peas, lentils, chickpeas, and dry beans are growing in popularity. In fact the 68th United Nations General Assembly declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses. Pulses are very high in protein and fiber and low in fat. A half cup of cooked pulses is equivalent to one serving of vegetables and two ounces of meat according to the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council.
Lean proteins such as soy, whey, pea and vegetable are an integral part of many weight management programs. The focus on these lean proteins stems from building and maintaining lean muscle and keeping body fat at minimum. In addition, research indicates that foods with protein are more filling.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is present in many weight management products because it has been shown to have a beneficial effect on maintaining body composition. A study found that CLA given at a dose of 3.2 grams per day produced a modest loss in body fat in humans.