An article from the New York Daily News reports that trimming your waistline could begin with pouring on canola oil. According to a Penn State study, adding canola oil to your diet may cut belly fat in a matter of four weeks.
For their study, the researchers of Penn State had 101 participants, all of which had abdominal obesity or increased weight circumference. The participants were randomly assigned to drink two smoothies a day. These smoothies were blended with a specific type of oil, including flax/safflower oil and corn/safflower oil, as well as three types of canola: the regular canola oil, high-oleic acid canola oil, and high-oleic acid canola with DHA (a type of omega-3 fatty acid).
Each oil treatment was tailored to the participants’ energy need based on their weight. The smoothies were also calculated not to exceed the participants’ daily calorie needs. Aside from the oil, each smoothie contained 100 grams of non-fat milk, 100 grams of frozen unsweetened strawberries and 100 grams of orange sherbet.
The participants who consumed smoothies with canola oil lost a quarter pound of belly fat after four weeks. The researchers also noted that weight lost from the participants’ middles did not redistribute to other areas in the body.
The researchers shared their findings at The Obesity Society’s annual meeting on Wednesday.
In the report, study author and Penn State nutrition professor Penny M. Kris-Etherton said,
As a general rule, you can’t target weight loss to specific body regions. But monounsaturated fatty acids seem to specifically target abdominal fat.
Canola oil, which is pressed from the yellow-flowered rapeseed plant, has the least saturated fat of any common cooking oil. In fact, it has less than half the saturated fat of soybean oil.
Other studies have also shown canola oil to lower fat levels in the blood, and that replacing saturated fats in the diet with monounsaturated fats from foods like olive oil and canola oil reduced deaths from certain diseases, such as cancer, dementia, heart disease and respiratory disease by 13%.