We're always looking for the newest diet "miracle." Now researchers say that they may have found a slim-down solution, lingonberries, which actually resulted in improvements in blood sugar and cholesterol levels as well as weight loss, reported CBS News on Jan. 24.
To conduct the study, researchers in Sweden fed overweight mice lingonberries for three months. The little creatures experienced benefits that ranged from lower blood sugar, reduced cholesterol levels and weight loss.
However, not everyone is excited.
"Our society is prone to grabbing easy solutions and that leads to certain fads,” cautioned Dr. Jeremy Korman, a weight loss expert and a bariatric surgeon.
Although berries benefit your health, he points to acai berries, which were previously considered good for weight loss, as an example of a diet fad gone wrong. In the lingonberry study, acai berries actually led to weight gain.
The researchers discovered that other berries, however, did promote weight loss. Black currants and bilberries also resulted in metabolism improvements in the mice, reported Discovery News on Jan. 24.
Ironically, the entire study began with an assumption that acai berries would win for weight loss, with interest in the other berries merely for comparison.
“Instead, the opposite happened,” said Karin Berger, diabetes researcher at Lund University where the study was conducted.
“In our study, the açai berries led to weight gain and higher levels of fat in the liver.”
But although the mice who munched on lingonberry, black currant, raspberry and bilberry meals had lower levels of fat and lost weight, Berger advises caution in trying to replicate those results at home.
“Up to 20 percent of our mice’s diet was lingonberries. It isn’t realistic for humans to eat such a high proportion," said Berger.
But there is a weight loss lesson from the study: Enhance your diet with berries.
"The goal is not to produce such dramatic effects as in the ‘high-fat’ mice, but rather to prevent obesity and diabetes by supplementing a more normal diet with berries,” said Berger.
Not into munching on berries? Some studies also have indicated that apple cider vinegar can boost your weight loss while improving your cholesterol and blood pressure levels, according to Mother Nature News.
In particular, a study revealed that those who sprinkled bread with the vinegar felt full longer.
The Huffington Post reports that some research shows that taking apple cider vinegar mixed with water daily can boost weight loss. However, be sure to rinse your mouth afterwards to avoid damage to your teeth.
In addition to apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar has its own group of fans when it comes to reducing your blood pressure and cholesterol while helping with weight loss, according to Philly Mag. Among its benefits:
- Balsamic vinegar was found to inhibit LDL (“bad” cholesterol) oxidation in one study.
- Other research has "documented that vinegar ingestion reduces the glucose response to a carbohydrate load in healthy adults and in individuals with diabetes. There is also some evidence that vinegar ingestion increases short-term satiety.”
- Arizona State University researchers determined that balsamic vinegar consumption can lower systolic blood pressure (the larger or first number in your blood pressure reading) by as much as 20 points.
What to know if you want to try either: Use pure vinegar rather than a salad dressing containing vinegar, which can contain sugar. With apple cider vinegar, go organic for purity, such as Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar Organic Raw.