Visceral fat: The cholesterol-lowering breakfast food that could help lower the belly fat

Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning

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No matter how much belly fat you can pinch, that is not an indication of visceral fat levels. Invisible to the naked eye, this type of belly fat is deep within the abdomen cavity and surrounds internal organs. As such, you can be slim or overweight and still have extremely harmful levels of visceral fat. Researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine, North Carolina, obtained abdominal CT scans – the only accurate way to measure visceral fat – from more than 1,000 people.

The scans of 1,114 participants, aged from 18 to 81 years of age, were taken at baseline and five years later.

Dietary intake was assessed by a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire.

The researchers found that the consumption of soluble fibre was inversely related to a change in visceral fat levels, independent of body mass index.

“For each 10g increase in soluble fibre, rate of VAT [visceral fat] accumulation decreased by 3.7 percent,” the researchers noted.

Soluble fibre intake, however, was not associated with the reduction of subcutaneous fat levels – the type you can pinch with your fingertips.

The Mayo Clinic explained that soluble fibre “dissolves in water to form a gel-like material”.

“It can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels,” the Mayo Clinic added.

One food rich in soluble fibre, that you can enjoy for breakfast, is oats.

Medical News Today confirmed that oats are “loaded with dietary fibre”, usually eaten as porridge.

The researchers of the study did, however, add that vigorous activity helped to decrease visceral fat levels even more so than consuming soluble fibre.

While 10g of soluble fibre was associated with a reduction in visceral fat levels by 3.7 percent, exercise was more effective.

For instance, moderately active participants had a 7.4 percent decrease in the rate of visceral fat accumulation.

Moreover, physical activity – unlike soluble fibre intake – was connected to subcutaneous fat loss.

In fact, those who engaged in exercise had a 3.6 percent reduction in subcutaneous fat.

“Soluble fibre intake and increased physical activity were related to decreased VAT [visceral fat] accumulation over five years,” the researchers said.

HealthDirect Australia concurred that the “best way” to reduce visceral fat is to exercise.

People are advised to exercise for at least 30 minutes daily to help shift visceral fat.

Other lifestyle measures to keep visceral fat under control is to eat a healthy diet, to be a non-smoker, and to reduce sugary drinks consumption.

Furthermore, getting enough sleep every night can also be beneficial in managing visceral fat levels.

If you would like to know if you’re carrying too much visceral fat, you can measure your waist.

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