The problems associated with being overweight are numerous. Putting aside the psychological grievances, there are a string of conditions that often come with it, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. All of which expose you to the risk of developing heart disease, a major killer in the UK and worldwide.
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The benefits reaped from weight loss doesn’t cancel out the challenge of achieving it, however.
Unfortunately, there is no quick panacea for losing weight.
Instead, you must commit to an overall healthy lifestyle to shed excess pounds.
Research does show that supplementing your diet with natural products can aid your weight loss journey, however.
In fact, one particular item has been shown to encourage weight loss and tackle some of the associated risks associated with it.
The natural remedy in question is black seed oil, which is extracted from the seeds Nigella sativa, a small flowering plant that grows in Southwest Asia, the Middle East, and Southern Europe.
While the exact mechanism isn’t fully understood, research shows that black seed oil may help reduce body mass index (BMI) in individuals with obesity, metabolic syndrome, or type 2 diabetes.
BMI is a measure that uses your height and weight to work out if your weight is healthy.
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In one eight-week study, 90 women ages 25–50 with obesity were given a low calorie diet and either a placebo or one gram of black seed oil per meal for a total of three grams per day.
At the end of the study, those taking the black seed oil had lost significantly more weight and waist circumference than the placebo group.
The oil group also experienced significant improvements in triglyceride and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
LDL cholesterol is a fatty substance found in your blood that can clog up your arteries, raising your risk of having a heart attack.
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Obesity tends to increase LDL cholesterol levels.
What’s more, black seed oil has been shown to counter the negative effects of type 2 diabetes, a condition strongly associated with being overweight.
It does this by lowering blood sugar levels, which is essential to managing diabetes and warding off serious health risks.
Several studies in individuals with type 2 diabetes indicate that a dose of two grams per day of crushed whole black seeds may significantly reduce fasting blood sugar levels (a measure of blood sugar levels at least eight hours after eating.
Furthermore, the oil lowered hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels, a measure of average blood sugar levels over two to three months.
What to avoid when trying to lose weight
According to the NHS, avoid fad diets that recommend unsafe practices, such as fasting (going without food for long periods of time) or cutting out entire food groups.
The health site explains: “These types of diets do not work, can make you feel ill, and are not sustainable because they do not teach you long-term healthy eating habits.”
It adds: “This is not to say that all commercial diet programmes are unsafe. Many are based on sound medical and scientific principles and can work well for some people.”
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