The Link Between Garlic and Weight Loss


Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Cousin to the onion and sister to the shallot, garlic is a small but mighty ingredient that's been linked to weight loss, and its health benefits far outweigh the risk of bad breath! I’m Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien, and here’s my take on the garlic-for-weight-loss theory.

How Garlic May Help With Weight Loss

Garlic may offer several benefits when incorporated into a healthy, balanced diet.

May Help Increase Fat Burning

Let’s heat things up! A 2011 study published in The Journal of Nutrition found an association between garlic and fat-burning. Another study found that aged garlic extract may lead to weight loss in certain women. The good thing is, most fat-burning foods pair nicely with a bit of minced garlic.

Makes Food Flavorful Without Driving Up the Calorie Count

This is why I love garlic—it brings yummy taste to countless savory dishes while barely adding any calories. After all, no one will stick to a weight-loss diet if the food isn’t flavorful, so garlic is the perfect incentive to maintain a healthy food plan.

HG tip: Lightly cook your garlic so the taste isn't too intense. A little goes a long way.

Other Health Benefits of Garlic

Outside of weight loss, research suggests that garlic offers additional health benefits.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Studies show that allicin (a compound produced when garlic is finely chopped or crushed) may lower blood pressure, especially in those with already high blood pressure. Lower blood pressure means a healthier heart and a healthier you!

Reduces Blood Sugar

Get this: Garlic may help naturally lower your blood sugar. Can garlic cure your sweet tooth? Not quite, but it may affect your fasting blood glucose (a.k.a your empty-stomach blood sugar level).

BONUS: A study in Food and Chemical Toxicology found that onions have a similar effect on blood sugar, which is great, considering garlic and onions are a tasty pair!

Should You Incorporate Garlic into Your Diet Plan?

Garlic won’t magically make you lose 10 pounds, but it will give your weight-loss journey a tasty boost and a boatload of health benefits. Plus it’s ridiculously easy to incorporate into your everyday cooking.

And here's a neat fact: Studies show that letting the garlic sit after chopping it allows the allicin compound to fully develop, reducing the amount lost when you sauté or roast it. You can also drink it as a tea.

Hungry Girl Recipe Ideas With Garlic

Breakfast: Add minced garlic to your morning egg scramble or omelet. What a great way to jumpstart your weight loss before you’ve even left your house! To save time, you can even make my eggs in a mug in the microwave... No skillet necessary!

Lunch: Cook up some lean protein in a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray. When it's almost fully cooked, add chopped garlic to the skillet. (Adding it too early can cause it to burn.) Garlic is really tasty with riced cauliflower, which is a major calorie saver. In fact, garlic goes well with just about any veggies cooked in a skillet.

Dinner: Steak and garlic are a match made in foodie heaven. But as you probably know, not all red meat is a good choice. Your best bets? Round and top sirloin, and lean cuts including tenderloin (filet mignon is considered tenderloin), strip, and T-bone. And you know what goes well with garlicky steak? Mushrooms, another weight-loss secret agent!

Snacks: Dig into a plate of Four-Cheese Stuffed-Silly Mushrooms. They're bursting with cheesy, garlicky goodness! Or give in to your French fry craving and bake a pan of veggie fries sprinkled with minced garlic.

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Article Sources
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  2. Seo DY, Lee SR, Kim HK, et al. Independent beneficial effects of aged garlic extract intake with regular exercise on cardiovascular risk in postmenopausal women. Nutr Res Pract. 2012;6(3):226–231. doi:10.4162/nrp.2012.6.3.226

  3. Ried K, Frank OR, Stocks NP et al. Effect of garlic on blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2008;8:13. doi:10.1186/1471-2261-8-13

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