Wednesday Bubble: weight loss – It’s in the sea! Guest post by Danielle Omar, RD

Posted by on Apr 14, 2010 in diet, weight | 12 comments

Not bursting any bubbles this week! Rather, I am hoping that guest author Danielle Omar, RD can provide a unique perspective on weight loss, fiber and one of our biggest resources: the sea. Danielle is a fellow Advisory Board member and when we met, we realized that we had a lot in common, especially when it came to women and eating and midlife. So please, welcome Danielle and show some love!

Is fiber the newest weight loss panacea?  Perhaps!  As a nutritionist, I’ve been recommending soluble fiber for years for digestive and heart health, but its role in weight loss and hunger control are what is getting recent attention.   As part of a new wave in obesity research, scientists are now developing foods that contain specific types of fiber that may help you lose weight just by eating them.

Glucomannan, which is extracted from the Asian plant Konjac or elephant yam, has been around for a while.   It’s known for its ability to expand up to 50 times its own water weight.  You are already eating it in many  foods (the food industry uses it as a thickening agent), but you may also be familiar with the wildly popular shirataki noodles.   Made from Glucomannan, they’ve reached cult status in “low carb” circles for their ability to mimic pasta noodles, without all the carbs.

Researchers at both Chicago Rush University College of Nursing and The University of Connecticut have authored review articles finding the fiber in Glucomannan to promote weight loss and satiety, help lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and help balance blood sugar levels.  Although long-term studies are needed, the results are promising.

Another new player in the fiber game is alginate, a fiber found in the sea vegetable kelp.   Alginate has been getting recent praise for its ability to reduce the absorption of fat in the diet by up to 75%.   Researchers are claiming that alginate stops the body from absorbing fat better than the over-the-counter obesity treatment options currently available (like Alli).  Researchers have not started testing on humans, but preliminary results are creating quite a buzz.

In the meantime, why not do some research of your own?   Sea veggies are not only high in soluble fiber, they’re also a great source of vitamins and minerals and a natural source of iodine, which is important for thyroid health.   So head to the grocery store and pick yourself up some sea vegetables!  The most popular kinds include:

Nori: dark purple-black, usually bought in sheets, as seen in sushi rolls

Kelp: great as a salt substitute, available in flake form

Hijiki: looks like black wiry pasta, needs no cooking, just soak and soften – add to salads

Kombu and Wakame: found in longs sheets, as seen in miso soup or salads; sweet flavor

Arame: lacy texture, sweet and mild flavor

Dulse: soft, chewy texture; great addition to soup or raw as flakes

For more information and easy recipes using sea vegetables, click here.

Have you tried sea greens?  What do you think?

About Danielle…Danielle Omar, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian with ten years of experience promoting food confidence through healthy living and smart eating.  She brings real-life understanding to her nutrition consulting practice and has counseled hundreds of people in weight management, wellness, and sports performance. Danielle uses her unique approach, Live It, learn It, Get It to create powerful health transformations and real food confidence in her clients’ lives.

In addition to private counseling, Danielle serves as an adjunct professor in nutrition science at the university level.  She has been featured on local news and media stations and has conducted interviews for entertainment outlets such as The Washington Post and the Food Network.  Danielle is active in social media and delivers a unique perspective on her Food Confidence blog, which focuses on mindful eating techniques and eat-smart tips.


  1. 4-14-2010

    Thanks for the great tips, Danielle! I must admit that the sea veggies were always a mystery to me. Good to see that you could shed some light on those here. It’s so true that foods higher in fiber fill you up so much more.

  2. 4-14-2010

    This is so interesting. I’ve been curious about kelp but wasn’t aware of these other sea veggies. Can you buy these in a traditional grocery store? Great blog post!

  3. 4-14-2010

    Danielle, as a vegetarian I struggle to get all the right nutrients. I had no clue about the sea veggies, definitely going to try some. Thanks for some very valuable tips here. Also want to try the shirataki noodles!

  4. 4-15-2010

    Wow! What an amazing piece of information. I think I can use your tips. Thanks for sharing!

  5. 4-25-2010

    this is very interesting and true, will share on my blog

  6. 5-17-2010

    That’s a great article. Thanks for the info. I am never interested in sea veggies. Now, I think I’ll give them a try…:D

  7. 6-9-2010

    Nice post. I agree on what you have mentioned. I also want to share on ways to lose weight. This is the most reliable source and methods I have seen online. So this might help you.

  8. 6-15-2010

    [i]Weight loss[/i] is a reduction of[i] body weight[/i] that is triggered by exercise, dieting or an involuntary condition such as an illness. As it is well known when the body does not get enough calories it starts to burn the fat that was deposited in the fat tissue. Normal intake of calories for a human being is about 1800-2200 calories a day. One gram of burned fat produces 9 calories so it is easy to count how much fat are you burning when you lower your calories intake.

    Dieting or voluntary [i]weight loss[/i] nowadays is very common for people with [i]health problems[/i] like obesity, heart dysfunction or for people who might not necessarily need it but want to look good. Weight loss or even fast weight loss may be caused by illness that are associated with such severe conditions like:

    * Cancer
    * Chronic diarrhea
    * Chronic inflammation

    Obesity is a condition of extreme overweight when the body mass index or BMI is above 30. Or for people with over risk factors as hypertension or diabetes above 27. The weight loss drugs used for fighting obesity is most commonly given only by prescription and should not be used without doctors supravision. Most of the weight loss drugs work by suppressing the appetite only a few like Xenical have different therapeutic action.

  9. 6-20-2010

    Very nice article, haven`t heard about alginate, 75% is huge. Thanks for info.

  10. 7-22-2010

    Interesting blog and Kelp is renowned plus it contains iodine which contributes to regulating weight.however its all about the BROWN FAT in our bodies and weight loss hinges on how its utilized by the body

  11. 10-29-2010

    Thanks ! I never would have thought I could lose this much weight so quickly.

    HCG diet

  12. 7-15-2011

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