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Eating seaweed burns more calories than the gym

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Eating seaweed on toast could help burn more calories than a half an hour session on the treadmill, according to a new study from Sheffield Hallam University.

Researchers tested 80 healthy but overweight men by feeding them seaweed enriched toast. They found participants felt fuller for longer, consuming an average of 179 less calories a day as a result.

This is equivalent or higher to the amount of calories burned in an average treadmill workout. Burning one hundred calories per day is considered significant for weight loss.

The experiment was the first of its kind to grind a whole seaweed plant into bread, rather than breaking it down to extract chemicals.

None of the men tested could tell the difference between ordinary or seaweed-enhanced bread.

It is thought the seaweed helps cut calorie consumption in two ways; by acting as a substitute for salt and by performing as a "bulking" agent, which contributed to the subjects feeling fuller for longer.

"This study is very important in using whole seaweed to provide all the benefits. There is also on-going research showing it increases the shelf life of product," said Dr Craig Rose from The Seaweed Foundation, supporting the study.

"The seaweed acts a bulking agent in the stomach giving a feeling of fullness. It has sodium in low levels but far less than salt.

"It is also natural, sustainable, organic and adds nutrition. So unlike most bulking agents it is not just filling something out for the sake of cheapness."

What do you think? Would you eat seaweed for breakfast - or at any time of the day - as a substitute for gym sessions? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments section below.

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