Not all fat is created the same way, and visceral fat, which lies well below the surface, near vital organs such as the heart, liver and intestines, can be fatal. The proximity of fat to vital organs means that carrying too much increases the risk of developing chronic complications such as heart and liver disease.
To keep visceral fat at bay, there is evidence limiting the intake of foods that lead to harmful weight gain.
One of the main culprits is high carbohydrate intake, so reducing this group of foods can bring fat burning benefits.
Studies have shown that diets with less than 50 grams of carbohydrate a day cause belly fat loss in overweight people at risk for type 2 diabetes and in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.
Low-carbohydrate diets may be better for losing visceral fat than high-carbohydrate diets, according to a study published in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice.
You do not have to cut carbs completely to reap the benefits.
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Many sugar-sweetened drinks are made with high fructose corn syrup instead of sugar, according to the LiveStrong medical website.
Drinking fructose-sweetened beverages can increase visceral fat, reports an article published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.
The study involved overweight and obese people; Therefore, more research is needed to determine if fructose has the same effect on normal weight individuals.
To keep visceral fat at bay, try replacing these drinks with naturally calorie-free options like water, tea, or black coffee, LiveStrong recommends.
The findings published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society also prevent dietary carbonated beverages, as this may be associated with increased waist circumference and therefore potentially visceral fat.
In addition to dieting, exercising regularly also offers a robust defense against visceral fat gain.
Harvard Medical School recommends 30 to 60 minutes of cardio per day, such as brisk walking, swimming, jogging, or aerobics, and notes that weight training can also be helpful.
The evidence demonstrates the visceral fat burning benefits of aerobic exercise.
For example, a analyze of 15 studies out of 852 people compared how well different types of exercise reduced visceral fat without dieting. They found that moderate and high-intensity aerobic exercise was most effective at reducing visceral fat without dieting.