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Visceral fat: The healthy diet components for ‘trimming’ the harmful belly fat

Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning

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When you conjure up the image of fat in your head, your thoughts might go to the jiggly substance that you can pinch. However, visceral fat is different; it lurks inside your abdominal cavity. This tricky location is what makes the fat harmful. Luckily, simple diet tweaks can help stamp it out.

Stored deep inside your belly, visceral fat wraps around your organs, including the liver, kidneys, pancreas and intestines.

Considered dangerous, the belly fat has the ability to release chemicals into your bloodstream.

Eventually, this type of fat can trigger serious health problems, ranging from diabetes to heart disease.

The good news is that lifestyle changes, such as a healthy diet and exercise, are proven to be very effective against the culprit.

Like with any weight-loss diet, the strategies and principles for cutting visceral fat are pretty much the same.

The Mayo Clinic shares three specific dietary tips that can help with “trimming” of the belly fat.

These include:

  • Following a healthy diet
  • Swapping sugary drinks
  • Keeping portions sizes in check.

Following a healthy diet

The health portal recommends adding plenty of plant-based foods to your daily food regimen.

The likes of fruits, vegetables and whole grains should be the building blocks of your new visceral fat loss protocol.

Plus, you should also include sources of lean protein. What’s more, protein has been previously associated with visceral fat loss, according to research published in the National Library of Medicine.

Plenty of studies also suggest that people who consume more protein tend to have less visceral fat.

This is because the macronutrient has a complex chemical structure, which makes your body break it down slowly and possibly even keep you full for longer.

Swapping sugary drinks

Although a glass of chilled coke during this small heatwave might sound dreamy, the Mayo Clinic stresses to replace sugary beverages.

This makes your new go-to drink water – cheap and effective.

If you’re craving something with more flavour, they add that artificial sweetener drinks are also allowed.

Keeping portion sizes in check

Calories can add up as the day goes and meals get consumed – “even when you’re making healthy choices”, the health portal explains.

They advised: “At home, slim down your portion sizes. 

“In restaurants, share meals — or eat half your meal and take the rest home.”

How to tell if I have visceral fat?

As visceral fat is hidden deep inside your abdominal cavity, it can be difficult to spot.

However, one sign which could indicate the culprit is your waist circumference.

For women, your risk is increased if the waist circumference is 80 centimetres or more and for men 94 centimetres or more, according to Healthdirect.

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