'Slimming superfoods' promise weight loss in a bottle

By Rachel McNeill, Anchor/Medical Expert, rmcneill@kprc.com
Published On: Feb 18 2013 01:38:04 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 19 2013 08:30:50 AM CST

Feb. 18, 2013: Which "superfoods" can help jump start your weight loss in a safe way? Rachel McNeill reports.

HOUSTON -

You hear about them everywhere -- superfoods. They are natural and nutrient dense, packing a punch and promising health and wellness in a tiny pill.

"I have been taking supplements for years," Houstonian Suzette Lang said.

Elizabeth Long agreed, "Probably for about 15 years I've been taking them."

Amrita Menon is owner of Vitamins & Such and recently opened a new store near the Texas Medical Center.

She told Local 2, "I start my morning with an array of supplements and I take some with breakfast and I take some at lunch and then with dinner and if I don't take them, I immediately notice a difference and I hear that from my customers all the time."

Kimberly Olson is a certified nutritionist, personal trainer, and author of "The FitKim Lifestyle." She sat down with Local 2 to reveal some of her favorite slimming superfoods.

She said, "Look at me! I have so much energy and I swear it's because of all these superfoods I take."

You've probably heard of one -- green coffee bean extract.

Olson said, "That is absolutely hands down out of all of them my favorite."

The craze over green coffee bean extract took off after getting a stamp of approval from Dr. Oz. He told Local 2, "It'll help you lose about a pound a week faster than you would've lost (without it)."

The doctor said you should buy green coffee bean extract containing 45 percent chlorogenic acid, the key ingredient.

Olson added, "When you take it before a meal, the chlorogenic acid inhibits your body from using your food as fuel and forces your liver to metabolize your stored fat and use that as your energy source."

UTHealth dietician Carol Wolin-Riklin said before you jump on the bandwagon, read the label carefully.

"Everybody's looking for hope in a bottle. The one thing you have to be careful of is every brand of green coffee bean is different. Some have fillers such as caffeine and other products added to it, so it's not always the same product in the bottle," she said.

Another superfood to add to the mix -- raspberry keytone.  Olson refers to as the "triple threat."

Olson explained, "It's going to help your body burn more calories at rest. It inhibits how much fat it stored in your body and it breaks down fat cells."

Suzette Lang swears by it.

"It's really picked up my metabolism. I have energy (and it) really helps suppress those urges to kind of pig out," Lang said.

Another superfood has been around for generations. It's called moringa tree.  Known around the world as the miracle tree, it's believed to reduce cravings, curb the appetite and more.

Olson said, "It has over 45 different types of antioxidants. Ounce for ounce, it has 25 times the amount of iron found in spinach, 15 times the amount of calcium found in milk and nine times the amount of protein found in yogurt."

Another superfood may be hard to pronounce -- garcinia cambrogia, but fans of it believe in what Dr. Oz has called the Holy Grail of weight loss supplements.

Olson said, "It's been found to be three times more effective than diet and exercise alone."

No matter which supplements and vitamins you decide to take, it's recommended you discuss each and every one of them with your doctor to make sure that they're right for you.

Wolin-Riklin explained, "Sometimes they do interact with blood pressure medications, cholesterol medications, heart medications."

All the superfoods we mentioned are designed as a kick starter to help motivate you to develop an overall healthier lifestyle.

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