Peppers, with or without the burn, burn fat

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Spice up your dishes with extra peppers and if you can't take the heat, don't worry; the not-so-spicy peppers also work to burn fat and speed up metabolism, declared researchers on April 27 at Experimental Biology 2010, an annual scientific meeting in Anaheim, California.

The team of researchers from UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles) Center for Human Nutrition led by David Heber, professor of medicine and public health, found eating dihydrocapsiate (DCT), a non-burning substance akin to capsaicin, the pepper-derived substance that does burn, "can have the same potential benefit as hot peppers at least in part by increasing food-induced heat production. They were also able to show that DCT significantly increased fat oxidation, pushing the body to use more fat as fuel."

In the study the peppers were added to a low-calorie diet. Heber and the researchers concluded that peppers "may help people lose weight when they consume a low-calorie diet by increasing metabolism."

Start exploring the world of peppers and remember you don't have to reach for a Habanero or Scotch Bonnet peppers with "hotness" levels that exceed 325,000 Scoville heat units. Cherry peppers (under 500 Scoville heat units) might be more appealing if you only want to burn fat and not your tongue. Take a look at this visual guide to peppers: http://missvickie.com/howto/spices/peppers/peppersdict.html

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