Visceral fat, which surrounds critical organs including the stomach, liver, and intestines deep within the abdominal cavity, is present in even the healthiest persons.
According to Kayla Kopp, RD, of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Human Nutrition, while some amounts of the fat may protect your organs, excess visceral fat can be damaging to them and eventually result in a number of medical issues including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, or fatty liver disease.
Kopp explains that “Visceral fat is any excess belly fat that forms deep inside your abdomen. The other type of fat, subcutaneous, is the kind that forms underneath your skin. When an individual is consuming too many calories or is not participating frequently in physical activity.”
Given that some people store more fat in this location than others, genetics may also contribute to the development of this type of tissue.
So what is the best approach to determine whether you have too much visceral fat? 10% of your body’s fat content is visceral fat.
Your visceral fat percentage is probably over average if your body fat is greater than is ideal.
Additionally, there is research connecting an expanding stomach with too much visceral fat.
Visceral fat is more prone to develop from some foods than others. The worst culprits, according to Kopp, are those that include trans or saturated fats.
The expert mentions that “These types of fats break down a lot slower than unsaturated fats and are more likely to get stored as visceral fat.”
All fried meals, processed meats, full-fat dairy products, and the majority of baked goods are some examples of these fats.
Kopp points out that “You’ll also notice that these foods are all relatively high in calories.”
She also mentions other foods you should avoid, including those high in refined sugars such as “soda, candy, cookies, cakes and ice cream. These food items are all high in simple carbohydrates, which tend to store fat around the abdominal area.”
At the end of the day, the most efficient way to keep visceral fat at bay is to follow and maintain a healthy diet.
More precisely, Kopp suggests to “Choose whole foods such as fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean protein, healthy fats and low fat dairy products.”
On this list of the top fruits, you’ll find berries, apples, bananas, oranges, and melons. Additionally, vegetables including spinach, asparagus, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and broccoli might be advantageous.
Kopp also suggests sticking to lean meats, such as chicken, turkey, eggs, and fish, and healthy carbs like brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat pasta.
According to Kopp, wonderful sources of healthy fats include avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds, nut butter, and fatty seafood.
Profit from the calcium-rich properties of low-fat plain yogurt, cheese, milk, and cottage cheese in place of full-fat dairy.