Did you know there are two different kinds of belly fat? For most people, about 90% of total body fat is subcutaneous. That’s a fancy way to say that it’s the soft, pinchable, “love handle, bra-strap, back of arm” type of fat that sits right underneath the skin. The other 10–15% is called intra-abdominal or visceral fat. This is the one that the medical and health professionals refer to as belly fat.
Keep reading, this is the important part. This fat lives in your abdominal area and surrounds your vital organs (that gives an ugly mental image doesn’t it?). But bad news: Visceral fat is one of the most dangerous types of fat. I will skip all the science here and go right to the ‘Why’.
It’s dangerous because it generates hormones that surround your organs and can cause inflammation which leads to a multitude of diseases which include heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Ugh! I know, we used to think it was just plain old fat.
Time for the Good news. This visceral fat is one of the easiest types to reduce. And of course, leading the list of how to reduce it are regular movement (exercise) and a balanced diet. Shocker!!
Funny how the same two remedies keep coming up for including in your health, wellness and disease prevention. Hmm, we may be on to something here.
Additionally to lose or reduce the visceral fat is cutting back on added sugar. This has a dual benefit because, as you know, lowering your sugar intake will help lose weight and improve health in general. Many healthy solutions get a bad rap because the focus is on taking something away. Well here are some foods that you can ADD to your regular diet to help reduce the visceral fat and improve overall health:
Avocados – These are a nutrient-dense fruit containing 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams of heart-healthy fats per half-cup. – Think easy to add to a sandwich, omelet, avocado toast etc. Good stuff here.
Blueberries – a little powerhouse of nutrients which may help to lower inflammation and improve insulin levels. Both of these have direct effect on belly fat. – Like the avocado, these can be added to soooooo many foods as an accent item or eaten by themselves. Try them as a frozen snack.
Eggs – Yes I said eggs. Let’s focus on the quality protein and nutrients from the yolk. 6 grams of protein per egg and only 78 calories per. Protein promotes fullness and satiety and requires more energy to digest than carbs and fat, doesn’t cause blood sugar to spike (leading to an unwanted insulin response) and it promotes muscle growth and repair. All assisting in belly fat reduction. Oh how I love protein.
Fatty Fish – top of the list you may have guessed is salmon. It helps increase elements in your blood to help fight inflammation through lower glucose levels. It is also high in Omega fats which are linked to weight loss. Sweet.
Sweet Potatoes – Another on the top of the leader board when it comes to carotenoid concentration. Carotenoids are a class of brightly colored red-, orange- and yellow-pigmented antioxidants, which have an inverse correlation with total body fat content. Sweet potatoes also have a low insulin response which makes them a fan favorite for people cutting back on carbs and sugars. And….they make excellent fries when baked with a little seasoning or cooked in an air fryer.
Here is the bottom line:
Losing your belly fat should be a high priority because of its link as a greater risk of heart disease and other health problems like high blood pressure and inflammation.
Please use these foods above in your eating plan, keep moving and exercising, and lower your sugar intake.