Visceral fat is a type of body fat that is considered harmful because of where it is stored in the body: the abdominal cavity next to many vital organs. When visceral fat accumulates here, the risk of a person's health complications, including cardiovascular disease, increases. So what can you do to reduce it? A poor diet can lead to high levels of visceral fat, so making changes in what you eat is key. A diet proven effective in eliminating visceral fat is the keto diet.
Also known as the ketogenic diet, the ketogenic diet is a popular low carb diet that has been shown in many studies that reduces visceral fat, rather than low fat diets.
The ketosis diet drastically reduces carbohydrate intake and replaces it with fat.
This puts the body in a natural metabolic state called ketosis, whereby the body begins to burn fat for energy because it does not have enough carbohydrates to burn.
A study that involved 28 overweight and obese adults found that those who followed a ketogenic diet lost more fat, especially visceral fat, than people who followed a low-fat diet.
Participants did this while eating approximately 300 more calories per day.
So what should you eat while on the keto diet plan?
The foods that you can consider as part of the keto diet are:
Low carb vegetables: peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus, spinach, cauliflower
Meat and poultry
Nuts and seeds
Working hand in hand with the keto diet, eating lots of protein can also help with visceral fat loss.
Studies have shown how protein can help fight hunger by increasing levels of fullness hormones, and also by increasing metabolism.
A study in 23,876 adults showed that a higher protein intake was related to a lower body mass index, a higher "good" HDL cholesterol and a smaller waist circumference, which is a marker of visceral fat.
In addition to making changes in what you eat, it is also important to exercise regularly if you want to lose visceral fat.
It has been shown that the most effective exercise to eliminate visceral fat is aerobic exercise.
An analysis of 15 studies with 852 people compared how well different types of exercise reduced visceral fat without dieting.
The researchers found that moderate and high intensity aerobic exercises were the most effective in reducing visceral fat without dieting.
Some experts believe that supplements can help reduce visceral fat.