A study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan found that cherries can help lose fat around the waist. The study, which was published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, looked at the effect of tart cherries on rats consuming a typical Western diet. For the study, the researchers fed two groups of rats with a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, but one group also received cherries. Then, they measured the rats’ blood lipid levels, weight, and inflammation.
After 12 weeks of intervention, the group of rats fed with cherries had 54 percent waist fat, which was nine percent less than those that consumed a typical Western diet only. The former also exhibited lower cholesterol levels by 11 percent. Having fat around the waist can also lead to a higher risk of heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. Fortunately, aside from reducing fat around the waist, cherries also contain high levels of antioxidants called anthocyanins, which are good for the heart.
However, there’s a catch when eating cherries for weight loss. Cherries should not be consumed in the form of pies and cakes without added sugars. Here are several ways on how to add cherries to your weight loss diet:
Eat cherries before meals: Eating a cup of cherries before meals can reduce your food intake, which in turn, can help in weight loss. Experts say that eating fruits that have fiber and water -- which cherries have -- will help satisfy one’s hunger, which can result in less consumption of food throughout the day.
Eat cherries as a snack: Snacking on cherries in between meals can keep you satiated, while providing nutrition. These fruits are also a better option than snacking on processed, nutrient-deficient, and high-calorie junk foods like chips. Eating cherries will also keep you from eating more calories.
Eat cherries as a dessert: Cherries are sweet, ripe, and juicy, so you can eat them as a great alternative to high-calorie desserts like cakes, cookies, or pies. However, refrain from eating canned and sweetened cherries as they might increase your consumption of calories. If you'd like more flavor and nutritional value, you can mix cherries with other fruits and yogurt.
Eat cherries as an ingredient: Cherries can be added to granola, low-fat yogurt, oatmeal, and salads. Cherries can also be frozen and used throughout the year as an ingredient to various recipes and meals.
In addition to their heart health and weight loss benefits, cherries also protect against diabetes, promote better sleep, relieve arthritis, reduce the risk of gout attacks, and reduce post-exercise pain. (Related: Cherries a superfood? Research confirms this well-known fruit tackles cancer, insomnia, high blood pressure and gout.)
Want to know more foods that aid in weight loss? Visit FightObesity.news.