Visceral fat refers to the unseen, hidden fat which surrounds the organs. It’s stored within the abdominal cavity around important internal organs such as the liver, pancreas and intestines and can be identified by a large waist measurement, especially when compared to hip measurement.
- How to lose visceral fat: Eat this food to reduce harmful belly fat
Storing higher amounts of visceral fat is associated with increased risks of a number of health problems including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, breast cancer, colorectal cancer and dementia including Alzheimer’s disease.
Even slim people can have high levels of visceral fat, which could be caused by a stressful lifestyle and a diet laden with unhealthy, high sugar foods.
To ensure optimum health, Gudrun Johnson, author of Gut Reaction and Dietary Advisor to Nibble protein, advises reducing refined carbohydrates to keep visceral fat within healthy levels.
Gudrun told Express.co.uk: “Reducing your intake of refined carbohydrates, such as simple sugars and processed foods is one of the main ways you can reduce levels of visceral fat in your body.
“Following a diet such as the ketogenic diet that is high in healthy fats, with adequate-protein and very low carbohydrate intake, is a great way to reduce visceral fat, or prevent it from building further.
“Cheeses, avocados, seafood, lean meats and poultry along with low carbohydrate vegetables such as kale and broccoli, are the perfect foods to consume.”
Gudrun recommended some other ways to keep visceral fat levels in check.
Slash your sugar intake
If you’re serious about reducing your levels of visceral fat, it’s important to look at the amount of sugar in your diet, said Gudrun.
She explained: “Aside from obvious sources of sugar, seek out hidden sugars in heavily processed foods and eliminate them from your diet, opting to cook from fresh where possible. A diet high in sugar can cause a build-up of fructose in the body, which can get turned into fat by the liver, potentially increasing visceral fat storage.
“To really take control of the amount of sugar you’re consuming it’s important to look at labels, especially when it comes to snacks or foods which are marketed as ‘no added sugar’ or ‘fat free’. Often these foods will contain tons of hidden sugar. According to the NHS, 22.5g of total sugars per 100g is considered high in sugar, so remember this when looking at labels.
“It’s also worth keeping a stock of healthy, truly low sugar snacks on hand.
“I recommend the Nibble protein range, which has been crafted the finest low GI ingredients, including antioxidant-rich dried plum purée, as a low sugar, delicous healthy snack as they contain just 1 gram of sugar per bite.”
- Angela Rippon health: Supplement star used to get rid of visceral fat
Up your exercise
Both cardiovascular exercise and weight/resistance training has been shown to be beneficial when it comes to reducing visceral fat or keeping it at bay, whether combined with a healthy diet or not.
Gudrun said: “Protecting and maintaining heart, lung and circulatory health through aerobic exercise can reduce your risk of ill health and help you maintain a healthy body weight, ultimately reducing your risk of visceral fat build up.”
The stress hormone, cortisol, is often a major contributing factor to visceral fat, said Gudrun.
She added: “Cortisol affects fat distribution, often causing it to accumulate around your organs.
“Stress can be both emotional or physical. So although exercise is important, be careful not to overtrain because this puts stress on your body, causing your cortisol to spike.”
Fill up on veg
You should aim to eat around nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day and make sure at least six of those are vegetables.
Gudrun said: “An increased intake of foods that cause chronic inflammation such as chips, fizzy drinks and white, refined carbs, can cause several diseases and illnesses that in turn, make it much harder for the body to fight off visceral fat.”
High levels of visceral fat is known to be associated with insulin resistance, which can lead to glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes.
Gudrun explained: “Alcohol, smoking and caffeine can cause sharp rises in blood sugar levels, so it is best to limit your intake or avoid them entirely.
“Instead, make sure you stay hydrated with lots of water, as water flushes out toxins.”
Source: Read Full Article