Visceral fat is deemed dangerous because of where it’s stored in the body. It can be found in the abdominal cavity next to many vital organs in the body, such as the liver, stomach and intestines. Having too much visceral fat can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. So what can you do to get rid of it?
Because poor diet can contribute to a build-up in visceral fat, one of the best places to start is to make some changes to what you’re eating and drinking.
Studies have shown that sugar can be harmful to a person’s metabolic health.
Sugar is half glucose and half fructose, but the fructose can only be metabolised by the liver when it’s in large quantities.
So when you eat lots of added sugar, the liver gets overloaded with fructose and this is then turned into fat.
One study, (‘Consuming fructose-sweetened, not glucose-sweetened, beverages increases visceral adiposity and lipids and decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight/obese humans’) demonstrated when excess sugar, due to large amounts of fructose, can lead to increased accumulation of fat in the belly and liver.
So alongside sugar-sweetened foods, sugar-sweetened drinks should be avoided.
There are three drinks which fall under the category of sugar-sweetened drinks. These are:
- Fruit juices
- Sugary sodas
- High-sugar sports drinks
Whole fruit shouldn’t be avoided as this is considered an essential part of a healthy diet, offering plenty of fibre that mitigates the negative effects of fructose.
Lack of exercise can contribute to large visceral fat build-up so being active is also key.
While many may assume abdominal exercises are effective at getting rid of visceral fat, research suggests you should avoid these.
Spot reduction, which is a term used for losing fat in one spot, is not possible, so doing endless amounts of ab exercises will not make you lose fat from the belly.
One study titled ‘The effect of abdominal exercise on abdominal fat’ demonstrated that six weeks of training just the abdominal muscles had no measurable effect on waist circumference or the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity.
The most effective exercise for getting rid of visceral fat is believed to be aerobic exercise, like walking, running and swimming.
Published at Sat, 09 Feb 2019 13:57:00 +0000