Fatty Acids for Fat Burn
Probably the biggest shift in thinking about weight loss recently has been the realization that a) fat doesn’t make you fat and b) that eating certain fats can even help you to burn more body fat!
Two of the superstars in the fats-to-burn-fat world are conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and oleic acid. These are both unsaturated fatty acids.
Your body doesn’t make CLA or oleic acid, but you can get them fairly easily through the foods you eat. There are also supplements available but they tend not to be as effective or bioavailable as whole food sources. As usual, it’s better to get these nutrients from a healthy diet than from a synthetic version.
If you haven’t heard of CLA, according to WebMD it’s “a group of chemicals found in the fatty acid linoleic acid. Dairy products and beef are the major dietary sources.”
As Experience Life tells us, “CLA is related to the omega-6 fatty acids, one of the two types of essential fatty acids that help the body increase metabolic rates, boost the immune system and keep cholesterol levels in check.”
Oleic acid is an omega–9 fatty acid that occurs naturally in various animal and vegetable sources. This acid is often touted as the weight loss secret behind olive oil. While your body can produce omega–9s as long as you get enough omega–3 and omega–6, consuming oleic acid through your diet is also beneficial, especially if weight loss is your goal.
Fighting fat with fat may seem weird, but it works. So what’s the deal?
Oleic acid & CLA for weight loss
Many people who add CLA to their diets notice a reduction in body fat, an increase in muscle building and better endurance. Basically, it can help your body convert food into energy more efficiently. Obviously, a balanced diet and regular physical activity are still important but when CLA is increased, the weight loss results tend to happen more quickly than with just exercise and a healthy overall diet alone.
According to Livestrong, “CLA is particularly known for attacking and reducing fat in your abdominal area. […] Researchers state that CLA is found to not only help fight obesity, but it also has positive results against heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, inflammation.”
Livestrong also referenced a study published in the Journal of International Medical Research, that showed “that participants who took CLA experienced[…] weight reduction in comparison to those who took a placebo.”
Similar things can be said for oleic acid.
The Globe and Mail says that “oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat, suppresses hunger pangs and so can help prevent snacking between meals, according to researchers at the University of California, Irvine. In a study involving lab mice, the researchers found that when oleic acid reaches the small intestine it is converted into a hormone called oleoylethanolamide, or OEA. This hormone, in turn, sends hunger-dampening signals to the brain. That means you can go longer without eating.”
Obviously, a reduced appetite makes weight loss a lot easier.
If you’re thinking, “but wait! I thought CLA was a trans fat. Aren’t trans fats bad for you?”, you’re not totally wrong. CLA is a trans fat, but they are part of a small group of trans fats that are beneficial for the body.
It all comes down to the difference between artificial trans fats and naturally occurring trans fats. According to Paleo Leap, “as dangerous as man-made trans-fats are, naturally produced trans fats can actually be very healthy for you – and the best example is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).”
Getting CLA & oleic acid from the foods you eat
Many people seek out CLA and oleic acid supplements, but getting these fatty acids from the food you eat is a much healthier and effective approach.
Livestrong notes that CLA is found in beef, milk and eggs from grass-fed animals. Paleo Leap says “When animals on pasture eat the Omega-3 fats in grass and other green plants, their gut flora convert the PUFA into CLA. In milk, there’s also an additional source: an enzyme in the cow’s mammary gland converts another type of fatty acid, vaccenic acid, into CLA.”
Especially helpful if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, CLA is also found in white button mushrooms, pomegranate seeds and some cold-pressed, unrefined seed oils, including sunflower seed oil and pumpkin seed oil.
Oleic acid, on the other hand, is found in a wider variety of foods. Forever Young by Perricone MD notes that the healthiest sources of oleic acid include, “
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Nuts such as almonds, peanuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts
- Sesame oil”
Bottom line, if you’re looking to lose some weight, working both of these things into your diet through natural means, is a delicious way to go.
Luckily, if you want to make sure that you’re getting CLA and oleic acid every day but you don’t want to spend money on a supplement that may not even work, there’s actually a simple way to get both at once.
The best way to get CLA & oleic acid every day
These two healthy fatty acids can actually be found in one source: Styrian pumpkin seed oil.
Perfect Press® Styrian Pumpkin Oil is a terrific source of both CLA and oleic acid, which means that adding just this one (very tasty) oil to your daily routine may help you lose weight.
We recommend taking a teaspoon of Styrian pumpkin oil twice a day. If you take that much you’ll get 3,238 mg of oleic acid and 42 mg of CLA. That’s just about the same amount of oleic acid as you’d get from a teaspoon of olive oil, with CLA to boot!
Our Styrian Pumpkin Oil is pressed using organic, non-GMO seeds with Perfect Press Technology. This proprietary process ensures no heat, grinding or friction — enemies of nutritious fatty acids. By choosing Perfectly Pressed oil you are making sure that you are getting everything you deserve when it comes to the healthy fats you want from a cold-pressed seed oil.