Visceral fat, the fat stored in the abdominal cavity around organs, has been identified as a major culprit in promoting inflammation and chronic diseases. Studies have shown a close association between visceral fat and metabolic disorders such as diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases.
But how can we eliminate visceral fat? Let’s explore a diet plan that targets the reduction of “belly fat.”
Low-carb, high-protein diet: To reduce visceral fat, it is essential to decrease the consumption of complex carbohydrates and increase the intake of high-protein foods. Our bodies primarily use carbohydrates as the fastest source of energy, and any excess carbohydrates are stored as fat in the abdominal area. Therefore, reducing carbohydrate intake is crucial in reducing visceral fat. It is recommended to consume 1.2-1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Good sources of high-protein foods include soybeans, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, almonds, tofu, chicken breast, lean beef, salmon, duck meat, and eggs. It’s important to note that our bodies have a limit on how much protein can be digested and absorbed at once, so dividing protein intake into four meals (breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner) is more effective.
Coffee: Coffee is known to aid in the reduction of visceral fat. The chlorogenic acid in coffee acts as an antioxidant that contributes to the removal of visceral fat. However, it is advisable not to exceed the recommended daily caffeine intake of four cups (400mg).
Fresh berries: One way to reduce visceral fat is by consuming fiber-rich foods. Soluble dietary fiber absorbs water and forms a gel-like substance that slows down the passage of food through the digestive system. This provides a longer-lasting feeling of fullness and helps reduce calorie intake. Fresh berries are a good source of such fiber. Strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are excellent choices.
Leafy green vegetables: Consuming dark green vegetables like spinach, kale, and cabbage can be beneficial in reducing visceral fat. When insulin function is impaired, more blood sugar is converted into visceral fat. These vegetables help improve insulin function. Additionally, the fiber content in vegetables aids in satiety and promotes healthy bowel movements.
Whole grains: Whole grains such as brown rice, oats, and barley have been found to have cholesterol-lowering and visceral fat-reducing effects. The dietary fiber in whole grains slows down the rise in blood sugar levels and provides a rich source of vitamins and minerals. According to the National Institute of Agricultural Sciences, beta-glucan in barley inhibits cholesterol synthesis in the liver and helps regulate blood sugar levels.
By adopting a diet that includes these recommendations, individuals can take steps towards reducing visceral fat and promoting a healthier lifestyle. Remember, it’s always important to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before making significant changes to your diet.