People who took 3.2 grams of this fat a day had a drop in fat mass of about 0.2 pounds a week. That is, as much as one pound a month, compared to those who did not (placebo), concluded a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition*.
What is this fat? It is the Conjugated Linoleic Acid or CLA. It belongs to the family of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) which are not produced in our body and thus need to be brought in through food sources or supplementation. The most popular EFA on the market today is the familiar Omega 3 fatty-acids. But CLA has becoming increasingly more popular due to its ability to reduce your body weight.
Exciting research at California State University with humans has shown that CLA has been beneficial in lowering body fat, with even greater improvement in those who combine exercise with dietary intake of CLA. A separate study by the same University with animals has been even more promising, with significant improvements seen in both reducing body fat and in increasing lean body mass.
Best Source of Natural CLA
Rich, natural and healthy CLA can be found in animal products like meat and dairy from grass-fed animals. Simply increasing your intake of true grass-fed meat products will increase your intake of this important fatty acid. Before you rush out to any supermarket and get the organic beef or worst, the regular beef, for that juicy dosage of CLA, STOP!
There is a (huge) difference between the “regular”, organic , grass-fed, and even grass-finished beefs. To read more on this subject, check out a follow-up blog I am writing now – to be published here soon highlighting the difference among these terminologies.
Since meat from true pasture-fed animals is lower in fat than meat from grain-fed animals, this means that it is lower in calories as well. By switching to lean grass-fed beef, it is estimated that the average person in the U.S. could reduce intake up to 17,000 calories a year, which is equal to losing about six pounds! Imagine how this could impact the national epidemic of obesity.
True pasture-fed animals have been found to have 3 to 5 times more CLA than grain-fed animals. So if you’re looking to increase your CLA, the best way is through pasture-fed animal products. This includes not only the beef but also dairy products from pasture-fed cows like raw milk, raw butter and raw milk cheese.
Experts suggest that CLA also:
- Increases metabolic rate
- Decreases abdominal fat
- Enhances muscle growth
- Lowers cholesterol and triglycerides
- Lowers insulin resistance
- Reduces food-induced allergic reactions
- Enhances immune system
There have been animal studies showing that as little as 0.5 percent CLA in your diet could reduce tumors by over 50 percent, including the following types of cancer: Breast, Colorectal, Lung, Skin, and Stomach.