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Dr. Oz: Probiotics, vitamin D, chia, coconut oil win for weight loss trends

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Do you know how to make sure the chicken that you eat is safe? Dr. Mehmet Oz explained what you need to know on his talk show Wednesday. Plus: Find out how vitamin D, probiotics and seeds ranging from chia to pumpkin can pump up your weight loss success.

Probiotics rank as one of the most substantiated weight loss trends, says Dr. Oz. When you have too much bad bacteria in your body, you can gain weight. The good bacteria in probiotics reduce inflammation while eliminating the bad bacteria. You can add probiotics to your diet by eating yogurt or take a supplement. If you choose to take a supplement, look for one that contains a high number of CFUs.

Supplementing your diet with vitamin D is also an excellent way to enhance your overall health and whittle your waistline, says Dr. Oz. In addition to bone and tooth health, vitamin D reduces your risk of cancer.

Harvard researchers found that dieters who combined low-carb diets with yogurt lost the most weight. They theorize that the combination of vitamin D and calcium boosts fat oxidation. As a result, you feel full and burn fat faster.

How much: Although the Institute of Medicine recommends 600 to 800 IU daily, Dr. Oz feels that 1000 IU is the optimal amount. You can get vitamin D through foods such as enriched dairy products or vitamin D supplements.

You've heard of super foods, and now it's time to become familiar with super seeds. Dr. Oz recommends sesame seeds, which are high in omega-3 fat. In addition, pumpkin seeds boost serotonin.

But the most effective seed for weight loss is chia, says Dr. Oz. Chia seeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fiber. You can sprinkle them over salads, add to smoothies or mix with cereal.

In line with his recommendations to add chia seeds to your diet because of their healthy fats, Dr. Oz has become a coconut oil advocate. Dr. Oz says it can can boost your metabolism and help you lose weight because it contains lauric acid, a type of MCT. It also helps your thyroid function more effectively.

There's also a link between probiotics and coconut oil, according to Dr. Loren Cordain, author of "The Paleo Answer: 7 Days to Lose Weight, Feel Great, Stay Young." He notes that studies show lauric acid promotes healthy stomach bacteria. As a result, it can help to prevent leaky gut syndrome.

Dr. Cordain agrees with Dr. Oz that coconut oil belongs in the category of healthy oils. Despite initial claims that it caused atherosclerosis, the newest research shows it improves overall cholesterol levels.

On the same episode, Dr. Oz talked about the dangers of chicken. It's one of the most popular forms of protein, but hidden risks lie in those grocery store packages.

The problem stems from American-raised chickens that are processed in China and then sold in our nation's grocery stores. What are their processing regulations, and how safe is the chicken coming from those overseas factories?

Dr. Oz and his experts expressed concern about the situation. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), however, stated that they have implemented rules in terms of what can be imported.

"USDA has not found China's poultry slaughter system to be equivalent, and therefore poultry slaughtered in China is not allowed to be imported to the United States. The U.S. food supply is among the safest in the world, and the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service is dedicated to maintaining that status," stated the USDA.

To be safe, follow these guidelines: When you buy chicken, put it into a plastic bag and do not let any juice contaminate your other foods. After cooking your chicken, do not put it back on the same plate.

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