KATRINA TURRILL (Express)
Visceral fat isn’t always visible on the outside of the body and can be stored skin deep, increasing a person’s risk of serious health complications. One of the best ways to get rid of it is simple changes to diet – including the following foods in your daily eating plan.
Visceral fat is considered the most harmful body fat and that’s because of where it’s stored. Belly fat which is visible on the outside of a person’s body is known as subcutaneous fat, whereas as visceral fat lies deep in the abdomen and surrounds internal organs. If a person has too much visceral fat they increase their risk of dangerous health problems, such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
So what can you do to get rid of it?
Visceral fat can be caused by poor diet changes, so tweaking what you eat can play a big part in reducing it.
There are six foods you should look to include in your diet according to Mayo Clinic. These include:
- Whole grains
- Lean sources of protein
- Low-fat dairy products
- Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – found in fish, nuts and certain vegetable oils
It also advises to limit added sugar and saturated fat, which is found in meat and high-fat dairy.
Keeping your portion sizes in check is also important.
“At home, slim down your portion sizes. In restaurants, share meals – or eat half your meal and take the rest home.
Doing regular exercise can also help you get rid of visceral belly fat.
Dr Luke James, medical director, UK Insurance at Bupa UK, details on the health organisation’s website that HIIT, which stands for high intensity interval training, is the best type of exercise to burn fat.
The premise of HIIT is going all out and giving it everything you’ve got, for a short burst, followed by a lower intensity exercise or rest, then repeat.
Dr James explained: “Cardiovascular exercise is important for weight loss but I’d say that interval training is perhaps the best approach for fat loss – especially belly fat.
“It’s been suggested that HIIT has an effect on your hormones, particularly ones such your belly.
“It also increases your fitness levels so you’ll notice these benefits too.
“Intense exercise also speeds up how much energy and fat you burn post exercise.”
Dr James recommends monitoring your pulse so you can tell when you’re in the fat burning zone, and if you’re not sure how to measure it there are apps and wearable measurements, like a Fitbit, available.
He added: “I’d recommend strength (resistance) exercises too. They help maintain your muscle mass and your glucose metabolism (the way your body processes sugar and uses it for furl), which are important for managing your weight.
“Resistance training has also been shown to maintain reduced fat mass, and to act on the visceral fat in your abdominal area.”
Dr James warns about “spot reduction”, which is the idea you can target where you lose fat.
He said: “Doing only ab crunches thinking it will target and lose the fat from your belly won’t work.
“You need to take a whole body approach, not just focusing on one area of your body.”