Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning
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Unlike subcutaneous fat, you are unable to see visceral fat as it is stored deep within the belly. We need a certain amount of it to protect and insulate the organs. However, too much of it can be dangerous, causing complications such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
But there are ways to reduce visceral fat including diet.
One expert spoke with Express.co.uk about ways to tackle visceral fat.
Registered dietitian at JustCBD, Nataly Komova, recommended drinking pineapple juice as a way to do this.
She said: “Pineapple contains bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme that can help you deal with belly fat by reducing hunger.
“The enzyme is also believed to speed up your metabolism, which positively affects weight loss.”
This was backed by research published in the Food Science and Biotechnology journal in 2018.
The study, which was conducted by academics in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, considered the “anti-obesity” effects of pineapple juice.
As part of the trial, a group of 24 rats were split into two groups – one that was then fed a “normal” diet and the other, which was given a high fat diet.
When the rats within the high fat diet group become obese, they were given pineapple juice along with either a high fat or normal diet.
It says: “In conclusion, pineapple juice has suppressed high fat diet-induced obesity via decreasing body serum lipid, weight gain and hepatic lipid accumulation.
“The juice has also induced a decrease in number and size of adipocytes in high fat diet-induced obese rats.
“It seemed to exert these effects by modulation of fat metabolism through downregulating lipogenesis and upregulating fatty acid oxidation at transcriptional level of lipid metabolism-related genes.
“These findings suggest that pineapple juice could be an actual anti-obesity candidate with no obvious harmful effects.”
Ms Komova also advised eating eggs to lower visceral fat.
“Eggs are loaded with protein that suppresses your hunger and appetite,” she said.
“Due to this, you are less likely to eat a lot of calories, which can cause abdominal weight gain.”
It is not possible to know exactly how much visceral fat you have without imaging tests.
However, you can get a rough estimate by measuring your waist using the belly button as a marker.
For women 35 inches or more can signal visceral fat and for men it’s 40 inches.
If you have too much visceral fat it can put you at greater risk of conditions such as:
- Heart disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- High cholesterol.
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