Visceral fat, also known as belly fat, is easily overlooked because, unlike subcutaneous fat (the type of fat you can pinch), it lies close to vital organs. Its inconspicuous nature doesn’t make it any less threatening, however. On the contrary, a build up of visceral fat can interfere with vital bodily processes, raising your risk of deadly conditions, such as heart disease.
Luckily, visceral fat can be fended off by making positive dietary decisions, and an encouraging body of literature makes the case for eating particular food groups.
One key food group is soluble fibre, the type that mixes with water to form a viscous gel-like substance.
Research investigating its properties shows that it helps slow down the delivery of digested food from the stomach to the intestines.
When soluble fibre reaches the colon, it’s fermented by gut bacteria into short-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids are a major source of nutrition for colon cells.
To pack your diet full of fibre, try eating more flaxseeds, sweet potatoes, legumes and grains.
Protein-rich foods have also been shown to activate processes that lead to weight loss.
Research attributes its effect to increasing levels of the fullness hormones GLP-1, PYY and cholecystokinin.
Like fibre, it can also help reduce levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin.
What’s more, studies have shown that protein can help boost your metabolism as well, which in turn promotes weight loss and visceral fat loss.
In addition, many studies show that people who eat more protein tend to carry less visceral fat.
One notable study in 23,876 adults showed that a higher protein intake was linked to a lower body mass index, higher “good” HDL cholesterol and a smaller waist circumference, which is a marker of visceral fat.
HDL cholesterol is a healthy type of fat found in your blood that flushes a harmful fat called LDL cholesterol out of your system – a key preventative measure against heart disease.
What counts as protein?
Protein is naturally found in meat, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes and whey protein.
For optimal results, however, a healthy, balanced diet should be combined with regular exercise.
Harvard Health advises engaging in regular moderate-intensity physical activity — at least 30 minutes per day (and perhaps up to 60 minutes per day) to control weight and lose belly fat.
Moderate-intensity exercise is anything that gets your heart pumping, such as running, cycling or swimming.
Published at Mon, 02 Mar 2020 11:41:00 +0000