We’ve looked at some studies for cinnamon and weight loss and it looks like promising stuff. For the cinnamon lovers out there, this means making sure you eat a few grams of the spice everyday if you a looking to lose weight… a sprinkle in some yoghurt here, a touch in some porridge there, a cinnamon tea or a cheeky CEIBA?
Cinnamon and weight loss
Studies show the benefits of cinnamon for weight loss by a few factors:
- Regulating Blood Sugar Levels
- Lowers Triglycerides – a type of dietary fats
- Lowers LDL Cholesterol
- Reducing certain sugar/protein compounds
- Helps control hyperphagia (the desire to eat)
- Contains chromium which is good for the metabolism
Cinnamaldehyde, an active ingredient in cinnamon is behind many of these weight loss benefits, such as lowering triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, and we looked deeper into its affects on the body in this article.
Much of the research on cinnamon focuses on the spice’s effect on diabetes. It is believed cinnamon is an effective medicine because it can help dampen the release of sugar into blood after meals and in doing so reduces insulin spikes which occur to counteract any rises in sugar. This is beneficial for those wanting to lose weight because insulin is a very powerful fat storing hormone. The presence of insulin encourages the body to store fat rather than burn it. By cinnamon slowing the flow of sugar into the blood, it also reduces the need for large insulin dumps which in turn reduces the potential for storing fats.
Have a read of another good study into cinnamon and weight loss. In this 2003 study, the researchers found that a diet of between 1,3 or 6 grams of cinnamon per day lead to the following results:
- Fasting blood glucose reduced by 18-29%
- Triglycerides reduced by 23-30%
- LDL cholesterol reduced by 7-27%
- Total cholesterol reduced by 12-26%
Cinnamon and Honey Weight Loss
Cinnamon and honey sound like two guilty pleasures, so it’s fantastic news that they work together for weight loss. We know the benefits of cinnamon so why honey?
Good quality honey has a lower glycaemic index than sugar – around 45 compared to sugar which is around 65. The glycaemic index tells us how likely a food will increase blood sugar levels (that whole sugar insulin loop again) and so we want a low index to avoid insulin spikes.
The sweetness of honey does not just have to be for pleasure. A little sugar, especially the low GI and easily regulated sugars of honey, will help to keep the metabolism going. Metabolism is another important aspect for weight loss as we need an active metabolism to burn up any food we consume.
The most popular way to take cinnamon and honey for weight loss is to drink it. Most would recommend a simple drink of 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of honey (the best you can find) and water. Mix it all up and drink.
Real lovers of cinnamon would say yes that’s okay, but really you’re missing out on a delicious drink. We would recommend making a batch of cinnamon tea that you can keep cool in the fridge, and then add honey to a drink when you need.
You could also add some honey to a CEIBA. The extra honey even helps to bring out more of the cinnamon’s flavour so another win!
Cinnamon and Chromium Weight Loss
A common drug in health food shops is cinnamon tablets but you will often find cinnamon and chromium capsules too, with both medicines combined into one.
Chromium is a mineral that is known to be good for maintaining normal macronutrient metabolism as well as the maintenance of normal blood sugar levels.
Chromium is also found in cinnamon as a naturally occurring mineral and so chromium and cinnamon tablets have that extra chromium to boost the effects.
You may think great, let me eat more chromium, but be aware of the two types of chromium commonly found – one being much less toxic than the other. Trivalent chromium has much less toxicity to hexavalent chromium which we commonly find in chrome plated car parts for example. Trivalent chromium occurs naturally in foods and we normally consume it in such small amounts to not have to worry.
Cinnamon capsules weight loss
Cinnamon capsules are out there and are marketed for weight loss. The main thing to be concerned with here is the type of cinnamon used.
Cassia cinnamon is cheaper and more commonly used in cinnamon tablets. Cassia is a concern in excess amounts as it contains coumarin which is toxic to the body. Ceylon cinnamon (cinnamomum zeylanicum or cinnamomum verum) contains negligible amounts of coumarin.
Cinnamon is perhaps a love or hate spice but it is beneficial to add cinnamon to your diet not just for weight loss. We look at some of the other benefits here. To get a few ideas rolling, try adding it to your coffee, curries, yoghurt, porridge but definitely, definitely try it as a tea!