Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning
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Doctor Louise Wiseman added that excessive levels of visceral fat leads to the release of proteins that constrict blood vessels, hiking blood pressure readings, which is even more reason to remove it. Not only that, too much visceral fat is associated with diabetes and stroke risk, as well as dementia, asthma, and cancer. Thankfully, Doctor Wiseman confirmed that this type of harmful belly fat is “easier” to lose than the bulges of skin you can grasp with your fingertips.
One of the best ways to remove the potent belly fat is to eat whole grains whenever you can.
Research published in the National Library of Medicine investigated the effects on visceral fat depending on whether participants had eaten whole grain wheat bread or refined grain wheat bread.
All participants had a body mass index (BMI) of more than 23kg/m2 and were randomly assigned whether to consume refined or whole grain bread.
By the end of the 12-week study, in which blood samples and computed tomography scans were obtained every sixth week, the whole grain group had experienced a decline in visceral fat levels.
Meanwhile, the refined bread group showed “no significant changes” in visceral fat levels.
The researchers concluded: “[The wholegrain] diet led to significant and safe reductions in visceral fat levels in subjects.”
Commenting on the research, Doctor Wiseman explained: “Refined grains tend to leave you feeling less full and may interfere with blood sugar levels – and subsequently appetite control.”
Doctor Wiseman recommends picking “whole oats, whole wheat, rye, bulgur wheat and brown rice” to diversify whole grain options.
Another tip to remove visceral fat is to focus on cardio exercise.
Experts at Harvard Medical School concur that aerobic exercise, a type of cardio, is best for trimming visceral fat.
Examples of aerobic exercise include: swimming, cycling, walking, and rowing.
Doctor Wiseman elaborated: “A Duke University study, which compared the effects of resistance training sessions to the equivalent of running 12 miles a week, found that aerobic exercise had the biggest effect on both visceral and liver fat.”
To gain the most benefits, Doctor Wiseman recommends doing 30-40 minutes of cardio, three to four times per week.
As well as being mindful of what you eat and how much you exercise, it may surprise you to learn that sleep can be equally as important.
Doctor Wiseman noted that researchers at Wake Forest University Schools of Medicine found that averaging fewer than five hours of sleep per night led to visceral fat gain over a five-year period.
Plus, the Sleep Foundation advises that everybody has between seven to nine hours of sleep per night for optimum health.
Doctor Wiseman added that cortisol – the stress hormone – may have the potential to cause the body to “hang onto fat”.
Thus, to maximise the chances of reducing visceral fat levels, adopt healthy stress management techniques.
Examples include: exercising, medication, and making time for enjoyable activities.
“Give yourself the best chance of calming your body and mind down,” Doctor Wiseman concluded.
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