Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning
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Visceral fat is body fat that is stored within the abdominal cavity, which contains a number of crucial organs, such as the pancreas. In fact, it’s positioning near the pancreas means it can hamper insulin production – a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Visceral fat is also a contributing risk factor for heart disease. Given the risks posed by the belly fat, it is vital to reduce unhealthy levels.
Diet offers a robust defence against the belly fat and certain items have been touted for their belly fat-burning benefits.
Research has found rose hip extract to be an effective weapon against visceral fat.
Rose hip is the round portion of the rose flower just below the petals.
Investigations in mice have demonstrated that rose hip extract inhibits body weight gain and decreases visceral fat.
This prompted researchers to investigate whether these effects can be repeated in humans.
They conducted a 12-week, single-centre, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of 32 subjects.
The subjects were assigned to two random groups, and they received one tablet of placebo or rose hip that contained 100 mg of rosehip extract once each day for 12 weeks with no dietary intervention.
Abdominal fat area and body fat percent were measured as primary outcomes. The other outcomes were body weight and body mass index.
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What did the researchers find out?
Abdominal total fat area, abdominal visceral fat area, body weight, and body mass index decreased significantly in the rose hip group at week 12 compared with their baseline levels after receiving the rose hip tablet intake.
The decreases in these parameters were “significantly higher” when compared with those in the placebo group, the researchers wrote.
Additionally, body fat percent tended to decrease compared with the placebo group.
What’s more, the abdominal subcutaneous fat area was significantly lower in the rose hip group than in the placebo group at week 12.
As opposed to visceral fat, subcutaneous fat is the type of fat you can pinch.
“These results suggest that rose hip extract may be a good candidate food material for preventing obesity,” the researchers concluded.
Other key tips to reduce visceral fat
As a general rule, if you want to reduce your belly fat, you’ll need to burn more calories (energy) than you consume, and eat the right kinds of food.
Bupa says the following can help you to achieve this:
- Make sure you eat a balanced diet. Try to eat at least five portions of fruit and veg each day, and include higher-fibre starchy foods in meals
- Have some reduced-fat dairy or soya drinks fortified in calcium
- Eat more beans, pulses, fish and eggs
- Eat small amounts of unsaturated oil
- Drink six to eight glasses of water each day
- Avoid adding salt or sugar to your meals.
“And finally, cut out sports drinks, sugar sweetened drinks and other foods that have a lot of added sugar in them,” advises the health body.
“Be aware that low-fat options might have high amounts of added sugar in them.”
In addition to eating well, you should also engage in regular physical activity to reduce visceral fat.
“The starting point for bringing weight under control, in general, and combating abdominal fat, in particular, is regular moderate-intensity physical activity — at least 30 minutes per day (and perhaps up to 60 minutes per day) to control weight and lose belly fat,” advises Harvard Health.
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