What if we told you all those holiday treats you’re eating might actually help you lose weight?
OK, that might be a stretch, but a recent study from researchers at the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute suggests that a classic Christmas spice could give our bodies an edge when it comes to burning fat. We’re talking, of course, about cinnamon.
For the study, researchers tested fat cells from both mice and humans who had liposuction. They treated the cells with cinnamaldehyde, a chemical compound that gives cinnamon its flavor, and found that it helped assist with lipid metabolism and fat burning.
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These results mirrored the findings of another recent study in rats. For that study, the rats who ate high-fat foods with cinnamon weighed less than the rodents who didn’t have the cinnamon.
Here’s the rub: There’s no way to tell exactly how much cinnamon you’d need to make a difference in your weight. Plus, cinnamon is generally found in foods that are high in sugars and calories — two things that can have an opposite impact on our weights.
The health benefits of cinnamon in your diet
The science connecting cinnamon and weight loss might be unclear right now, but the tasty spice does have plenty of other proven health benefits.
Cinnamon is shown to be both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory food that can both help with muscle soreness, PMS symptoms and allergic reactions. It’s also shown to help lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while keeping HDL cholesterol stable.
The sprinkles of this spice are also shown to help keep blood sugar in check — an important benefit for people with diabetes.
So while cinnamon shows promise, it’s not quite a magic weight loss supplement. Eating it can’t hurt you though, so sprinkle it everywhere.
Just don’t take the cinnamon challenge because it won’t turn out well (trust us on this one).