A recent episode of the Dr. Oz show presented included a claim that eating sriracha hot sauce can boost your metabolism and help reduce belly fat. Today we’ll look a look at this claim.
About Sriracha Hot Sauce
Sriracha sauce is named after the city of Sri Racha in Eastern Thailand. It is a mixture of chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt. It is also known as “rooster sauce.”
Featured on Dr Oz show
On his episode which aired on November 7, 2013, Dr. Oz discussed “Belly Fat Myths” where he suggested the use of Sriracha sauce to help speed up metabolism and reduce belly fat.
“…a combination of about 20… a bunch of different spices, but it affects about 20 different fat-burning chemicals in your body.”
Dr. Oz claimed that sriracha sauce will speed up your metabolism for about 30 minutes after consuming it. He suggested having it with breakfast or adding it to popcorn.
A graphic displayed the following bullet points:
- Add sriracha hot sauce to meals
- $6 per bottle, grocery stores
Health Benefits of Sriracha Sauce
The beneficial ingredients of sriracha sauce are contained in the chili peppers and garlic. Peppers contain capsaicin, which is believed to contain metabolism-increasing properties.
This compound gives peppers a hot sensation when eaten. Some researchers believe the health benefits of capsaicin include increased metabolism, decreased weight gain (as opposed to weight loss), and possibly anti-cancer properties. Topical creams and patches containing capsaicin for pain relief are common.
Dr. David Heber told WebMD that he and his colleagues at UCLA studied a synthetic compound similar to capsaicin and found that obese patients burned an extra 80 calories per day.
It’s a modest effect, similar to that of green tea or caffeine, says Heber, but adding peppers to your diet can’t hurt your weight loss efforts. And, although he says he doesn’t want to “oversell it,” Heber says this metabolic boost might help over time, especially when combined with peppers’ proven ability to dampen appetite during meals.
The article summarizes that “capsaicin is not a weight loss wonder.”
Keep in mind that one pound of fat is approximately 3500 calories, so burning an extra 80 per day via capsaicin is not a comprehensive weight loss solution.
The garlic contained in sriracha hot sauce also has been associated with weight loss benefits.
How Stuff Works states, “When it comes to weight loss, garlic appears to be a miracle food. It contains the compound allicin which has anti-bacterial effects and helps reduce unhealthy fats and cholesterol.”
Sriracha hot sauce does appear to be a beneficial addition to a weight loss regimen, due to the ingredients capsaicin and garlic.
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- Sriracha sauce (Wikipedia)
- Garlic: Natural Weight-Loss Food (How Stuff Works)
- Peppers and Your Health (WebMD)
- The Two Faces of Capsaicin (PubMed.gov)