Visceral fat is found deep within a person's abdominal cavity, where it occupies spaces between a person's abdominal organs. Unlike subcutaneous fat, which is found on the surface, the proximity of visceral fat to vital organs means that it can present life-threatening risks. Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disorders and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, certain foods help reduce visceral fat: here are four of these foods.
According to a study by researchers at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, the way to concentrate and reduce visceral fat is simple: eat more soluble fiber from vegetables, fruits and beans.
The study found that for every 10 gram increase in soluble fiber consumed per day, visceral fat was reduced by 3.7 percent for five years.
Ten grams of soluble fiber can be obtained by eating two small apples, a cup of green peas and half a cup of pinto beans, said Kristen Hairston, M.D., an assistant professor of internal medicine at Wake Forest Baptist and principal investigator of the study.
Foods containing polyunsaturated fats
Eating many foods high in fat and calories can also lead to a buildup of visceral fat, according to the LiveStrong medical website. "The types of fat you eat can be important, as well as the amount," the health site said.
The health agency recommended that people exchange foods containing saturated fats and trans fats for fats containing polyunsaturated fats, the type of vegetable oils and fish.
"Eat salmon for dinner instead of ribs, use vegetable oil for cooking instead of butter and snack with nuts or sunflower seeds instead of packaged snacks like chips and cookies," he added.
According to Dr. Oz, certain "blood sugar stabilizer" spices can also help beat the belly.
He advised: “Consume 1/2 teaspoon of one of these spices at each meal: cinnamon, clove, oregano, pepper or turmeric.
"Use cinnamon and cloves for breakfast by adding a pinch of coffee or oatmeal, and sprinkle the tasty ones in your salads, sandwiches and main courses the rest of the day to get a tasty seasoning that can help fry belly fat."
The evidence supports the effectiveness of spices.
A study in 44 overweight people showed that taking curcumin twice a day for a month was effective in improving fat loss, decreasing belly fat and increasing weight loss by up to five percent.
A paleo diet generally includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, foods that in the past could be obtained by hunting and gathering.
Evidence suggests that the paleo diet can help you lose weight and reduce harmful abdominal fat.
In a three-week study, 14 healthy adults who followed a paleo diet lost an average of 5.1 pounds (2.3 kg) and reduced their waist circumference, a marker of abdominal fat, by an average of 0.6 inches (1.5 cm).
Exercise also plays a fundamental role in reducing visceral fat, according to a study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. To investigate the effectiveness of exercise in reducing this harmful abdominal fat, the researchers evaluated changes in visceral fat in 3,602 participants over a six-month period as measured by a CT or MRI exam.
Both exercise and medications produced less visceral fat, but the reductions were more significant per pound of body weight lost with exercise.