Visceral fat, also known as belly fat, collects deep in the abdomen and around the internal organs. Because it is stored underneath your muscles, it won’t juggle. Instead, it will swell your midsection and will give your body a round shape, similar to an apple.
Some amount of fat is necessary to survive. You need the fat to store fuel, to insulate you from the cold, and to protect your organs. Too much belly fat, however, is a huge health threat. Not only does it interfere with the insulation production and the blood sugar regulation in the body, it also raises the level of LDL (bad) cholesterol. Too much belly fat also secretes cytokines, which can trigger the chronic inflammation that causes type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
What makes up the belly fat of every overweight American is the polyunsaturated fat in the adipose tissue in Omega-6 fatty acids. You can trim down this fat by eating a healthy balance of essential fats. This means replacing the omega-6 fatty acids with omega-3 fatty acids in every meal.
A big belly can also be a die effect of sluggish digestion. This can result in constipation and bloating, which can distend your belly beyond your waistband. When you include high-fiber foods in your diet, you can help move things along, leaving you with a flatter belly.
The bottom line is that the larger your midsection is, the more you are at risk for disease. This means that belly fat isn’t something that you want to have. If you have belly fat, you should get rid of it now. The following foods can help.
Leafy green, legumes, and potatoes have a good balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids than most seeds and grains. Grains have other fat melting benefits, but we will get into that later. Omega-3’s are in the leaves of the plants as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). When you consume plant foods, your body will convert ALA into even more omega-3’s EPA and DHA.
#2 Lean Proteins
Cows who are raised on grass produce meat, milk, and cheese with much more omega-3s than cows who are fed corn and soy products. Chickens who are fed a diet that is rich in flax and greens produce eggs that are high in EPA and DHA. The levels are as high as that in many species of fish.
Moderate fish consumption is better for a diet that has fewer omega-6’s, which complete with the belly-flattening omega-3s. You should try to eat at least two fished based meals each week. If you aren’t a fan of fish, fish oil supplements will help.
#4 Whole Grains
A study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that found that the people who were dieting and ate 5 servings of whole grains each day for 12 weeks lost twice as much belly fat as dieters who ate refined carbohydrates. According to researchers, it is the high fiber in the whole grains that provide a significant reduction in belly fat. It is best to swap your white bread, white pasta, crackers, and four with the whole wheat and other whole grain varieties.
#5 Green Tea
According to research in the Journal of Nutrition, a group of people who participated in a study drank 5 cups of green tea each day. These people had greater exercise-induced declines in ab fat than those who didn’t drink the green tea. The researchers believe that the catechins in the green tea helped to stimulate the body’s fight or flight response, which made them burn more fat while exercising.
Probiotics are beneficial because they improve digestion and reduce bloating and constipation. This can flatten your belly. A study was performed at the University of Turku in Finland, which found that probiotics can cut your belly fat by altering the way that you store and use energy. The foods that deliver the largest dose of probiotics is cottage cheese, yogurt drinks, and other dairy products. When shopping for foods rich in probiotics, you should look for the phrase, “live active cultures” on the label.
Foods that are rich in potassium, such as bananas, can help get rid of excess water weight, which can decrease the size of your midsection. The reason that the extra fluid is there is because the two main minerals that control the amount of water that you retain in your body, potassium, and sodium, are out of balance. If your sodium level is too high, the tissue will hold onto the fluid. To restore you sodium-potassium balance, you should increase the amount of potassium that you consume. As your body begins to balance out, you will flush out all of the extra sodium as well as the excess water. Besides bananas, other good sources of potassium are oranges, papayas, tomatoes, and potatoes.