Many berries are considered nutrient rich super foods that are high in antioxidants and said to reduce the risk of certain illnesses. But which berries are the best choice when it comes to fat loss? It may be a berry you’ve never heard of or tasted: the lingonberry.
Lingonberries are to Scandinavians what blackberries are to Americans – fabulous for jam, this is an abundant wild fruit. They’re a tart red berry, produced by low, evergreen shrubs throughout Scandinavia’s forests, and are much smaller and juicier than their distant cousin, the cranberry. Lingonberries are also called cowberries, mountain bilberries or partridgeberries.
While acai berries have received a lot of attention for their connection to fat loss, a new study suggests that they may have the exact opposite effect. Interestingly, Swedish researchers at the Antidiabetic Food Centre at Lund University never set out to bash the acai berry. The team simply wanted to determine which berries would impact fat loss.
The scientists found that lingonberries, bilberries and black currants may be useful when it comes to healthy weight loss.
They didn’t expect to find that acai berries actually fattened the mice in the study — but that’s exactly what happened. The acai-fed mice put on weight and had increased fat levels in their livers.
In the study, the researchers tested mice that were genetically predisposed to put on fat in order to mimic overweight humans. Fed high-fat diets, the mice were given either raspberry, bilberry, blackberry, prune, black currant, acai berry, lingonberry or no berries at all. Another group of the rodents were given low-fat diets. Later, 13 weeks into the diets, the researchers checked in on the mice, measuring their weight and other health indicators.
The best berry when it comes to berries that impact fat loss? Lingonberries.
How often must lingonberries and other healthy berries be consumed for best healthy weight loss results? According to the researchers, supplementing with berries on a daily basis has positive effects on metabolism and obesity. Rodents on the low-fat diet only gained slightly less weight, but both ligonberry-fed and low-fat mice groups ended up with similar insulin and blood sugar levels. This is news that should perk the ears of people with diabetes. Mice in the ligonberry group not only gained less weight than mice on high-fat berry-free diets, but also had lower cholesterol and lower fat levels in the liver.
The unfortunate news is that even if fat loss results would be comparable in humans, you’d have to eat a lot of lingonberries to see the same results as the study. To be exact, 20% of the rodents’ diet was lingonberries! On a positive note, integrating ligonberries into your diet may still help reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes.