Visceral fat can be harmful to a person’s health because of where it’s stored in the body – next to vital organs such as the liver, stomach and intestines. This is why if visceral fat builds up it can increase the risk of serious health problems, like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. A diet high in saturated fat can contribute to visceral fat build-up, so making changes to the foods you’re eating can help get rid of it. Certain diets have proven better than others, and it doesn’t necessarily mean cutting out food favourites like cheese.
Low-carb diets have been proven effective at reducing visceral fat.
A number of studies have shown low-carb diets are more effective at reducing visceral fat than low-fat diets.
One eight-week study involving 69 overweight men and women found those who followed a low-carb diet lost 10 per cent more visceral fat and 4.4 per cent more total fat than those on a low-fat diet.
A popular low-carb diet that’s also been proven to help reduce visceral fat is the keto diet.
Also known as the ketogenic diet, the kept diet reduces carb intake and replaces it with fat. This puts the body in a natural metabolic state known as ketosis.
A study involving 28 overweight and obese adults found those on a ketogenic diet lost more fat, in particular visceral fat, than those on a low-fat diet.
The participants were able to lose visceral fat on the diet while eating roughly 300 more calories per day.
Foods to eat on the ketogenic diet include:
- Low-carb vegetables such as asparagus and lettuce
- Meat and poultry
- Nuts and seeds
One surprising food that fits within the criteria of the keto diet is cheese, because its low in carbs and high in fat.
But of course certain cheese have been found to be better than others to get rid of visceral fat.
Cottage cheese contains protein, which has also been found to help get rid of visceral fat.
It contains around 11g of protein per 100g, and protein has been proven to help people lose weight.
Eating more protein can help stave off hunger, promoting weight loss, by increasing levels of the fullness hormones GLP-1, PYY and cholecystokinin.
Protein can also help reduce levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin.
Studies have also shown protein can help boost a person’s metabolism, which can help with visceral fat loss.
Alongside eating a healthy diet it’s also important to do plenty of exercise if you want to get rid of visceral fat.
The best type of exercise for getting rid of visceral fat has been proven to be aerobic exercise.
Also known as cardio, this type of exercise includes jogging, cycling, swimming and rowing.
Cardio has shown to be so effective as it burns a lot of calories.
Many studies have shown people can lose visceral fat this way even without dieting.