Nutritional Impact On Weight Loss: Nutrients That Make A Difference
When it comes to weight loss, there are a few strategies that instantly come to mind for a lot of people: exercising and cutting calories are prime examples. However, what if there were nutrients that could impact our ability to lose weight? Studies have shown that increasing certain things that may normally be depleted in our diet can impact our ability to kick our metabolism into gear and help shed a few extra pounds. Check out our list of important nutrients for weight loss below.
One study that looked at individuals’ success with diet plans found that increased magnesium intake resulted in better results maintaining weight loss.1 Magnesium is utilized in a variety of processes in our body, including balancing glucose and supporting metabolism. One study showed that improved dietary intake of magnesium helped reduce body fat percentage and improved insulin sensitivity. This meant that those with lower body weight were eating on average 415 mg of magnesium in their diet (as opposed to 350 mg in overweight individuals).2 Foods we can increase in our diet with high levels of magnesium are black beans, spinach, and almonds.3
Roughly 42% of the US population is deficient in vitamin D.4 Although we can get Vitamin D from sun exposure, including it in our diet not only helps us feel good but can help with body fat reduction. One study of overweight women who increased supplementation with 1000 IU of Vitamin D3 (25 mcg) found that there was a positive correlation between the amount of Vitamin D and body fat loss.5 The benefits of increased Vitamin D can be meaningful when trying to lose weight. Some foods that we can eat more of include trout and salmon.6
Dietary potassium can be a great influence on our ability to lose weight. Studies showed individuals with increased potassium in their diet were more likely to maintain their weight loss.1 Recent research showed that increased dietary potassium had an impact on decreased BMI results in patients with obesity. Study participants were put on a low calorie mediterranean diet and were found to have increased “potassium density” (meaning a higher proportion of potassium to calorie ratio as opposed to previous dietary trends). Individual’s diet interventions meant that they were receiving more potassium from vegetables and proteins than they had received in their traditional diet.7 Some foods you can eat more of to get more potassium in your diet are spinach, nuts, cantaloupes, and fish (similar to what we would find in a Mediterranean diet.3
Iron supplementation may also have an impact on our ability to lose weight. A study was done that showed individuals with iron-deficiency anemia were treated with iron, and in addition to treating the anemia, participants saw changes in their overall health. Results showed participants had significant decreases in waist circumference and BMI when their iron-deficiency anemia was treated with standard iron supplementation.8 Foods with dietary increases in iron include legumes, tofu, and (insert drum roll here) dark chocolate.6 Yep, that’s right, some sweets could be good for you!
There are two different types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber helps speed up digestion and add bulk to the stool. Foods with insoluble fiber include things like vegetables and whole grains.9 Soluble fiber is what increases satiety and slows digestion so we can do better at absorbing nutrients from our foods. Beans, oats, and lentils are great sources of soluble fiber.9 One study took 240 adults with metabolic syndrome and increased dietary fiber intake. In adults with an average of 19 g of dietary fiber daily, study participants not only lost weight but saw improved blood pressure and blood glucose. The study shares a recommendation to include 30 g of fiber in your diet everyday to help with weight loss.10
All in all, there are a lot of ways out there to lose weight and keep the weight off. Research out there shows that a variety of foods contain micronutrients that can help with weight loss when maintained at appropriate levels. Try adding some of these foods with powerful nutrients to your weight loss plan today! If you are looking for high-quality supplements, be sure to check out our dispensary here.
The information contained in this post is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Written by, Katie Schwaller PharmD Student
Edited by Lindsey Dalton, PharmD
- Pascual RW, Phelan S, La Frano MR, et al. Diet Quality and Micronutrient Intake among Long-Term Weight Loss Maintainers. Nutrients. 2019;11(12):3046.
- Cahill F, Shahidi M, Shea J, et al. High dietary magnesium intake is associated with low insulin resistance in the Newfoundland population. PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e58278.
- Jones KB, American Academy of Family Physicians. Changing Your Diet: Choosing Nutrient-rich Foods. Familydoctor.org. Updated April 2022. Accessed January 21, 2023. https://familydoctor.org/changing-your-diet-choosing-nutrient-rich-foods/
- Barkley C. The power of vitamin D: What experts already know (and are still learning) about the ‘sunshine vitamin’. UT Health Houston. Updated October 29, 2021. Accessed January 23, 2023. https://www.uth.edu/news/story.htm?id=0520d178-ab7a-49af-858e-a7adeec0b30e
- Salehpour A, Hosseinpanah F, Shidfar F, et al. A 12-week double-blind randomized clinical trial of vitamin D₃ supplementation on body fat mass in healthy overweight and obese women. Nutr J. 2012;11:78.
- Williams C. Eating These 7 Nutrients Could Help You Lose Weight Faster. Eating Well. Published August 5, 2020. Accessed January 21, 2023. https://www.eatingwell.com/article/7833555/top-nutrients-for-weight-loss
- Tal B, Sack J, Yaron M, et al. Increment in Dietary Potassium Predicts Weight Loss in the Treatment of the Metabolic Syndrome. Nutrients. 2019;11(6):1256.
- Aktas G, Alcelik A, Yalcin A, et al. Treatment of iron deficiency anemia induces weight loss and improves metabolic parameters. Clin Ter. 2014;165(2):e87-e89.
- Mount Sanai. Soluble vs. insoluble fiber. Mount Sinai. Updated July 30, 2022. Accessed January 31, 2023.https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/special-topic/soluble-vs-insoluble-fiber#:~:text=Soluble%20fiber%20is%20found%20in,bran%2C%20vegetables%20and%20whole%20grains.
- Ma Y, Olendzki BC, Wang J, et al. Single-component versus multicomponent dietary goals for the metabolic syndrome: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2015;162(4):248-257.