Transcript: Fat Burning Via Arginine
How do nuts boost fat burning within the body? A paper out of Texas A&M last year suggests that it may be the arginine content of nuts. How does arginine get the job done? They’re not sure: “The underlying mechanisms are likely complex at molecular, cellular, and whole-body levels.” In other words, they have no clue.
But, they do review the evidence that it may involve the stimulation of mitochondrial biogenesis (more power plants per cell), and brown adipose tissue development, which is what our body uses to generate body heat—so we’d be converting more of our fat into heat. Either way, they suspect arginine to play an important role in fighting the current global obesity epidemic.
Well then, where in the diet can we find arginine? I’ll give you a hint. According to the CDC, 78 million Americans aren’t getting enough. So, you know the top few sources have got to be in healthy foods, because no one’s getting any.
And, indeed, here’s the list for the top 15 food sources of arginine you’d likely find in a typical store: (1) soy protein isolate (6.7g/100g), which is what they make veggie burgers, and meat-free hot dogs, and the like out of; (2) pumpkin and squash seeds (5.4g/100g); (4) watermelon seeds (4.9g/100g). Isn’t that crazy? Not as crazy as (5) fried pork rinds (4.8g/100g)—I’m not kidding. Maybe Americans should be getting more than I think! (6) barbecue-flavored pork rinds (4.5g/100g)—it must just concentrate in the skin; (7) sesame seeds (3.3g/100g); (8) peanuts (3.25g/100g); (9) soybeans (3.15g/100g); (10) peanut butter (2.7g/100g); (11) tahini (2.68g/100g); (12) almonds (2.5g/100g); (13) pine nuts (2.4g/100g); (14) fava beans (2.4g/100g); and (15) sunflower seeds (2.4g/100g).
So, basically, soy, seeds, nuts, and beans for arginine. Although dried beluga whale meat evidently has a lot, the first non-pork rind animal food you could actually find in a typical store clocks in the USDA database at 95th down the list—bacon.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Kerry Skinner.
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