Visceral fat has been linked to an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and several malignant neoplasms, including prostate, breast and colorectal cancers. A person runs the risk of developing these health problems because of where visceral fat is stored in the body, in the abdominal cavity next to many vital organs, such as the liver, stomach and intestines. Clearly, it is important for healthy body function to avoid high levels of visceral fat, and fortunately there are ways to reduce it. Observation studies have found that intakes of fruits, dairy products, whole grains and fiber are protective, while intakes of fried foods, alcohol, red and processed meat, sugary drinks, refined grains and high glycemic foods are associated with higher levels of visceral fat.
Studies have also demonstrated the benefit of exercise to reduce visceral fat with moderate or high intensity aerobic exercise that has the greatest potential to reduce visceral fat in overweight adults.
In addition to making changes in the diet and increasing aerobic exercise of moderate to high intensity; Certain nutritional supplements may also help reduce visceral fat, according to Claire Barnes, a nutritional therapist at Lepicol.
Inulin is an insoluble fiber that prevents absorption in the small intestine and, therefore, reaches the large intestine without being absorbed.
Claire explained: “Bacteria in the intestine feed on inulin and produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFA).
"These SCFA promote the loss of visceral fat through increased fat metabolism, using stored fat as an energy source."
While inulin can be found naturally in foods such as chicory root, dandelion root, asparagus, bananas and wheat, these foods would have to be consumed in extremely large amounts to obtain these benefits, according to Claire.
He added: “A simple and effective alternative would be to incorporate adequate amounts of inulin into your daily diet with a supplement such as Lepicol, which contains 30 percent inulin along with psyllium husk fiber and five strains of live bacteria.
Live bacteria supplements
Studies have shown that in obese individuals, the composition of the intestinal microbiota may be significantly different from that of thin individuals and that the modification of the composition of the intestinal microbiota may be associated with increases or reductions in body weight and the rate of body mass (BMI).
Claire cited: “A study conducted in 2018 in which 81 postmenopausal obese women who received a live bacteria supplement from multiple strains participated showed significant differences in their fat percentage and visceral fat levels.
“Studies seem to show that selective mixtures of live bacteria strains could be more effective than individual strains to improve the metabolic processes associated with obesity.
"Look for a live bacteria supplement that contains multiple strains and species, such as Bio-Kult Advanced that contains 14 different live bacteria strains of five different species."
A study that investigated different nutrient intakes with fat distribution found that visceral fat was positively associated with the characteristic nutrients of animal products, including arachidonic acid (omega-6 fatty acid).
Claire added: “In addition to the arachidonic acid (AA) that is obtained from meat, poultry and eggs, it is also converted in the body from vegetable oils found in many processed foods.
“Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) has been shown to significantly reduce AA: EPA ratios.
"An omega-3 supplement (fish oil or seaweed oil) could help improve your ratio of omega 6: omega 3 fats along with the exchange of meat to blue fish (salmon, mackerel and sardines) twice a week" .
When it comes to the best diet to follow to eliminate visceral fat, the keto diet has proven effective.