What is Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) and Where You Can Find It

CLA: The Healthy Fat That Burns Fat… you remember that post? If so, you may know what CLA is. If not, we will take just a few minutes to go over what it is and the benefits that are associated with it.

What is CLA?

CLA is… you guessed it, a healthy fat. CLA is a type of healthy fat that is specifically related to omega-6 fats. Omega-6s are essential fatty acids that are necessary for your health. Because it is essential it means that your body cannot produce it on its own so you must look to supplementing it into your diet.

There are multiple benefits associated with Conjugated Linoleic Acid. Some of those benefits include:

  • Reduced Inflammation
  • Fat Burning
  • Enhanced Muscle Growth
  • Lowering Insulin Resistance
  • Lowering High Cholesterol and Triglycerides

One of the most researched benefit, fat loss, is also one of the main reasons why so many people have been supplementing with CLA.

This study found that supplementation with CLA for one year resulted in a reduced body fat mass in healthy humans.

While this study found similar findings along with an increased or maintained lean body mass.

Where to Find CLA


steak with salad and potatoes

Several kinds of meat contain CLA… just in different amounts. Beef, turkey, and lamb contain high CLA concentrations. But not all meat is created equally. Grazing animals actually contain up to three times more CLA than animals grain fed.

But that’s only one of the benefits of choosing grass-fed over grain-fed. Some of the other benefits include:

  1. Less total fat
  2. More heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids
  3. More antioxidant vitamins (like Vitamin E)

Now before you go load up on meat, it is important to remember to consume meat (and EVERYTHING else) in moderation.

The USDA currently recommends, for a 2,000 calorie diet, consuming:

  • 5 1/2 ounces of lean meat or 1 1/4 cups cooked beans
  • 2 1/2 cups of vegetables
  • 2 cups of fruit
  • 3 cups of low-fat or fat-free milk or the equivalent dairy products
  • 3+ ounces of whole-grain products

Obviously, this won’t apply to everyone, as many people are gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, etc. But you get it right?! If you eat a large steak at breakfast (idk, maybe people do that?!) then you have probably reached your daily limit of meat for the day, and should look to other food sources for the rest of your meals and CLA intake.


Milk, cheese, and butter all contain CLA. Again, grass-fed animals will contain more CLA and thus there are more benefits.


This one seems pretty random guys. But CLA can also be found in mushrooms, crimini mushrooms to be particular. Mushrooms are one of the only non-animal sources of CLA, so if you get sick of all that meat (or don’t eat it) this is your guy!


making hard boiled eggs

CLA is found in the yolks in eggs. And again, the CLA will be higher in grass-fed chickens. Let’s just remember that as a rule of thumb. Grass-fed=good. Grain-fed… not so good.

How Much Do I Need?

Most of the research done on CLA is over a year’s time. So, what I’m trying to say is that this isn’t a miracle product that will work overnight. You must put in the WORK yourself and then use CLA supplements to speed up the results of that work.

Different sources tend to say that you need varying amounts of CLA a day in order to experience the benefits, so it can be hard to know how much you actually need to see changes happen to your body.

But here is what we have found: you should consume around 1,000-6,000mg of CLA a day.

Also, it is important to remember that everyone is different and what works for someone may not generally work for you. Figure out what works for you and your body and stick to that.

So by those numbers, you would be consuming A LOT of meat and dairy… which, let’s be real, probably isn’t the smartest or healthiest option. That’s why CLA supplements are so popular. Because it’s not always possible or plausible to eat your weight in meat, let supplements help a sister out (insert girl raising hand emoji here).

Why IdealLean CLA?

Supplements, like food, are not all created equal. Choose one that has higher concentrations of CLA.

One capsule of IdealLean CLA contains 800mg of CLA, and we recommend taking three a day with your morning, afternoon, and evening meals which adds up to to 2400mg of CLA (or 2.4g) in capsule form alone and to get the maximum results you should have it with your meal.

CLA supplements will also be the most effective when you are doing all that you can yourself. That means that you should be exercising regularly and making sure your nutrition is on point.

If you need a good starting point, try one of our FREE 15 Day Challenges which will help you to lose fat, build lean muscle, and develop healthy habits. Here is the link.

Then stock up on IdealLean CLA to maximize the results of all of your hard work.


Lindsey Mathews

Lindsey Mathews

Head Trainer & Nutritionist

Lindsey Mathews is the Head Trainer and Nutritionist at IdealFit. She is a NSCA-CSCS certified personal trainer, C-ISSN certified sports nutritionist, Pn. 1 certified nutrition coach, and a nationally qualified NPC bikini competitor. Before joining IdealFit, she ran the largest boot camp program in Utah County.

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