Agar is a type of jelly-like substance extracted from algae. It was discovered in the 17th century by Mino Tarōzaemon.
Agar is derived from the supporting structure in the cell walls of algae. This is released through boiling. Agar is typically used in desserts. It’s also a vegetable substitute for gelatin. It can thicken soups, preserve fruits or be a clarifying agent in brewing. Although agar has many uses in cooking, it can be used to boost weight loss too! In today’s post, we are listing down all the weight loss benefits of agar:
Low in Fat and Calories
Agar is extremely low in fat and calories. An ounce serving yields a measly 0.9 grams of fat and 87 calories. It also contains modest amounts of high-quality protein. Unlike gelatin, agar contains high levels of minerals. The same size serving yields about 177.19 milligrams of calcium, 318.84 mg potassium, 28.92 mg of sodium and 6.07 mg iron. This makes agar an ideal diet food!
Pure Veggie Goodness
Gelatin is extracted from animal bones. The bones of animals contain a jelly-like protein that’s harvested through boiling. On the other hand, agar contains zero animal products. This makes agar a lot more nutritious than gelatin. It also contains less fat and calories than gelatin. Agar is a great ingredient in vegan dishes too!
Suppresses the Appetite
The jelly-like texture of agar expands in the stomach, creating a sense of fullness. This fools the brain into thinking the body is satiated. When you feel fuller, you don’t overeat. This promotes weight loss. Eating agar regularly will also stabilize the glucose level because it naturally suppresses the appetite.
High in Fiber
Another reason why agar is so filling is that it contains a high amount of dietary fiber. Fiber bulks up the stool and cleanses the colon. It also suppresses the appetite and keeps the heart healthy. A diet rich in agar also helps regulate and cleanse the bowel. This leads to painless, natural weight loss!
Lowers Bad Cholesterol Level
Did you know agar helps reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the body? That’s right, eating this plant-based jelly will cut the risk of cardiovascular and arterial disease. It also keeps the heart healthy by lowering bad cholesterol LDL thanks to its fiber content.
A Natural Laxative
Is constipation getting in the way of your weight loss program? Try taking more agar! The slippery texture of agar helps facilitate bowel movement. As such, agar does double duty as a weight loss aid and as a detoxifier of the colon. It will effectively remove harmful compounds in the gut too!
In a study that monitored the diet of obese patients with either glucose intolerance or type 2 diabetes, researchers found those who ate a diet rich in agar lost more weight. Their blood sugar level reached the normal level and it improved fat and lipid distribution.
In a separate study, researchers fed two groups of people with either a conventional diet or a conventional diet with agar for 12 weeks. Before the experiment, all participants were measured by body weight, fat distribution, BMI, blood pressure and insulin resistance. Researchers found that those who ate a conventional diet with agar lost a significant amount of weight. Their metabolic rate accelerated as well.