We’ve been taught that fats are bad for our health and that we should avoid eating fatty foods. But did you know that there are actually “good” kind of fats that your body needs to keep away from diseases? Well, Conjugated Linoleic Acid is the good thing about eating the good kind of fatty foods. This trans-fatty acid unlike their processed counterpart is good for the heart, weight, muscles, immune system, blood sugar levels, and the body’s anti-inflammatory response.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid is a special form of linoleic acid, one of the Omega-6 fatty acids. A nutritional powerhouse, it is naturally found in animal-derived foods especially milk fat from grass-fed cows. Excellent sources of CLA include butter, cheese, cream, suet, tallow, and grass feed beef and lamb. Safflower oil is also becoming a famous source of CLA. In fact, CLA supplements are manufactured from safflower oil into weight-loss pills and capsules.
Although it is derived from animal fats, Conjugated Linoleic Acid is suggested to promote natural fat loss. It appears that CLA participates in the regulation of fats or adipose tissues in the body by supporting the effective conversion into energy. In animal studies, CLA caused an increase in the use of energy and reduction of fat levels. Additionally, CLA prevents slowness in metabolic rate due to reduced caloric consumption. Conjugated Linoleic Acid for weight control works in two ways, first by helping in the metabolism of food to produce fuel or energy and second, regulating metabolic rate even when a person is on a diet.
Because CLA facilitates the use of fats to increase energy, it can be helpful in protecting cardiovascular health. Research suggests that it can prevent the formation of cholesterol plaques in the blood vessels that contribute to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition wherein the diameter of the blood vessels become narrower due to the buildup of plaques in the arterial walls. This disease blocks the flow of blood in the body, which increases the risk for serious cardiovascular diseases. Hypertension, heart attack, stroke, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), angina, and Congestive Heart Failure are diseases associated with plaque buildup in the arteries.
CLA has been shown to normalise impaired glucose tolerance in patients with diabetes. Through this, CLA supplements can help diabetics to achieve blood sugar levels within normal range for relief of diabetes symptoms. More importantly, maintaining healthy blood glucose levels prevents the serious complications of diabetes such as retinopathy, neuropathy, and kidney failure.
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