Extra weight around the midsection is not only burdensome, it also sets the stage for serious health issues. From type 2 diabetes to cancer, belly fat contributes to a wide range of disease. Fortunately, certain foods have been found to specifically target abdominal fat. By integrating these foods into a balanced diet, a leaner and more healthful body is possible.
To comprehend the health risks of midsection fat, it is important to understand the different varieties. Subcutaneous fat is found just under the skin of the hips, buttocks, thighs and abdomen; whereas visceral fat is deep inside, surrounding the vital organs in the pelvis, abdomen and chest. This second type of fat can be extremely harmful to health. According to Kristen Hairston, MD, "We know that a higher rate of visceral fat is associated with high blood pressure, diabetes and fatty liver disease."
Belly fat burning foods
Monounsaturated oils are especially effective in diminishing abdominal fat. A study at the Reina Sofia University Hospital in Spain observed a group of overweight individuals who were put on four different diets for a month. All ate the same amount of calories per day, but had varying ratios of carbohydrates and fat. The researchers found that the group who consumed monounsaturated fats had the best results in losing extra weight around the midsection - even without exercise. Good sources of monounsaturated fat include avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oil.
Dark chocolate is also rich in this slimming fat. Research has shown that when men consumed 3.5 ounces of dark chocolate two hours before a meal, they ate 17 percent fewer calories compared with those who consumed milk chocolate. Organic, raw chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cacao is optimal.
Soluble fiber found in vegetables, fruit and beans target abdominal fat as well. According to a study at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, fiber intake directly affects midsection fat. Participants reduced visceral fat 3.7 percent over a five year span simply by consuming an additional 10 grams of soluble fiber per day. Those who also included moderate exercise had a total fat loss of 7.4 percent.
Another belly fat blasting food is coconut. A study in the journal Lipids found that coconut oil reduced abdominal obesity. The double-blind clinical trial involved 40 women between the ages of 20 and 40. Each group received either soy bean or coconut oil dietary supplements during the 12-week period. All participants adhered to a balanced diet and walked 50 minutes each day. At the end of the study, a decrease in total body mass was seen in both groups, but only the women who consumed coconut oil saw a reduction in waistline circumference.
Sources for this article include:
"Delicious, fatty foods that will help you lose weight" Mike Oliva, News Room Jersey, July 19, 2012. Retrieved on July 22, 2012 from: http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com
"Effects of dietary coconut oil on the biochemical and anthropometric profiles of women presenting abdominal obesity" Assuncao ML, Ferreira HS, do Santos AF, Cabral CR Jr, Florencio TM, Lipids, 2009, Jul:44(7):593-601. Epub 2009 May 13. Retrieved on July 22, 2012 from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19437058
"Soluble Fiber Strikes a Blow to Belly Fat" Science Daily. June 27, 2011. Retrieved on August 1, 2012 from: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110627123032.htm
"Flat Belly Diet Cookbook" Liz Vaccariello, Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, 2008 Rodale Inc.
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