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Beat the bulge with berries

HealthBy Sunday World
Beat the bulge with berries

It's not news to anyone that fruit is good for you, but now scientists have suggested that some varieties might actually help you burn fat. We're talking about berries and grapes specifically, so it could be a good idea to ditch the cereal for a breakfast laden with blueberries and strawberries from now on.

The study has found that diets which boast a lot of resveratrol might help people stay slim. The plant compound is found in berries, including grapes, and in wine (although don't take that as a cue to start glugging bottles of it daily).

The work was conducted by a team at Washington State University in America, who gave mice the same amount of the chemical which humans would ingest if they ate 12 ounces of berries a day.

Even when they had an otherwise high-fat diet, the rodents were found to weigh 40 per cent less than those who hadn't had resveratrol.

Causing this difference was the way the mice used their white and beige fat. Brown fat burns energy while its white counterpart stores it. Initially it was thought that only babies boasted brown fat, but it's now known that adults do too and those who are thinner tend to have more. To put it into perspective, 50g. of brown fat can burn around 300 calories in 24 hours. In turn, 50g of white fat can store the same amount of calories.

The mice were able to change white fat into beige fat, meaning it could be burnt rather than stored.

"Polyphenols in fruit, including resveratrol, increase gene expression that enhances the oxidation of dietary fats so the body won't be overloaded," Professor Min Du said in the Journal of Obesity.

"They convert white fat into beige fat which burns lipids [fats] off as heat, helping to keep the body in balance and prevent obesity and metabolic dysfunction."

12 ounces of the fruit is about three servings, so a good idea could be to try to have some grapes, apple or raspberries which each of your three daily meals.

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