Reducing Cholesterol And Body Fat With Tea
High cholesterol, heart disease and obesity are serious health issues, and seem to go hand in hand. A diet heavy in high cholesterol foods like meat, cheese and eggs can cause weight gain and high cholesterol levels. High cholesterol levels and being overweight, in turn, lead to heart disease. So, getting cholesterol levels and weight under control are significant factors in reducing the risk of heart disease.
To reduce cholesterol levels and take off extra pounds, reduce the amount of red meats in your diet, replacing them with poultry and fish. Eat low fat dairy products, and limit your intake of egg yolks. Eat high fiber, whole grain products like oatmeal, as these can help reduce cholesterol levels.
Be certain that you’re eating lots of fruits and vegetables – fresh is best, and avoid processed foods. These dietary changes should help you lose excess weight and lower your cholesterol levels.
In addition to dietary changes, exercise is very important in weight maintenance and lowering cholesterol. Aim for 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity 3-5 times a week (walking is fine). In addition, 20 minutes of strength training 3 times a week is also beneficial. Strength training helps you tone and build muscle.
Since muscle burns more calories than fat even at rest, adding some extra muscle speeds up your metabolism, which helps you maintain, or reduce, your weight. In addition, since we all begin to lose some muscle mass each year beginning as early as age 30, building muscle helps compensate for this loss, keeping you strong as you age.
Tea May Help, Too
In addition to making changes to your diet and exercise habits, drinking tea may be helpful, too. In the last few years, there has been a great deal of research on the benefits of tea. Tea is rich in anti-oxidants, which are known to slow down the aging process and prevent disease. Studies have shown tea, particularly green tea, to be effective at preventing heart disease and some forms of cancer.
Green tea is found to be more effective than other types of tea because of the way it’s processed. Green tea is not fermented, which helps to keep the anti-oxidants in their most natural, healthy state.
In addition to helping prevent disease, tea has also been shown to be an effective way to help lose weight. Tea contains caffeine, which has been shown in many studies to speed the metabolism. However, tea has been shown to be a more effective weight loss supplement than other beverages that contain caffeine.
So, researchers have concluded that it is more than just the caffeine that makes tea so effective. It is believed that it is the combination of tea’s caffeine and its anti-oxidants, known as catechins, that work together to help with weight loss.
In addition to speeding up metabolism, it is also believed that tea can promote the oxidation of fat, making weight loss come more easily. Tea also seems to regulate insulin levels in the blood, which may be of benefit to those whose weight has made them insulin resistant, a precursor to diabetes.
People with insulin resistance are often overweight and have trouble losing the weight because the body doesn’t process insulin properly.
One research study on this subject is particularly interesting. The study looked at Japanese men and measured their body fat and LDL cholesterol levels. First, the participants were put on a monitored diet for a two week period of time. Then the participants were divided into groups with similar BMIs and waist circumference.
The study period was 12 weeks, during which time the participants ate a controlled diet and received one of two beverages as a supplement. The beverages were either oolong tea containing 690 milligrams of tea catechins or oolong tea containing 22 milligrams of tea catechins.
At the end of the study period, the subjects were evaluated on fat loss, body weight, BMI and LDL cholesterol levels. Participants who received the tea supplement containing 690 milligrams of tea catechins had significantly lower body weight, BMI, body fat and cholesterol levels over the participants who received the tea containing 22 milligrams of tea catechins.
The study concluded that with similar diet and exercise routines, drinking tea produced better weight loss results and lowered cholesterol more than diets that did not contain such high levels of tea catechins.
It’s important to note that this study did not measure the effects of tea’s caffeine on participants. In fact, the oolong tea consumed by each group contained the same amount of caffeine. So, this study leads us to believe that it is the tea catechins rather than the caffeine that produces weight loss results.
Many people take supplements for weight loss, and many of them prove to have negative side effects or to be unhealthy overall. This is another reason that using tea as a weight loss supplement is preferable to relying on other types of supplements. Tea is generally healthy and has no side effects.
In fact, most people who are normally sensitive to caffeine can tolerate tea’s caffeine without experiencing side effects. So, if you’re working to control your weight and cholesterol levels, there may be no better ally than drinking some tea.
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