There has been a growing interest in the fat-busting, weight-loss power of seaweed which has been sparked by recent research from Newcastle University. The research identified the chemical properties of seaweeds which prevent fat from being digested by our bodies. If added to everyday foods these seaweeds could prevent us absorbing much of the fat from our diets. As in the Western diet, 40% of calories come from fat and while we need some fat in our diet, many of us eat too much.
The study suggest that a four-fold increase in one type of alginate found in the deep sea kelps (eg kombu, saccharina, alaria) boost anti-fat absorption in the gut by as much as 75%. In the trials they found that even a small amount of alginate reduced people’s fat intake by a third.
Also seaweed can help control your appetite. “Seaweed is low in fat but packed with soluble fibre, which helps control blood sugar levels and keeps your bowels moving. The fibre can help you feel full on very few calories,” Rachel Berman’s (Director of Nutrition for CalorieCount.com)
So it’s a double whammy: adds flavour and is slimming!