How to get rid of visceral fat: Eating more monounsaturated fat could target the belly fat

Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning

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Visceral fat or belly fat is a type of fat directly linked to serious health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery. What you eat will directly impact your belly fat. With this in mind, what types of food could help?

The University of Illinois Extension recommends getting most of your fat, approximately 12 to 20 percent of your calories, in the form of monounsaturated fat.

In a study published in the Journal for Diabetes Care found that eating a source of monounsaturated fatty acids with each meal of your day will help your body burn fat from the stomach area.

Monounsaturated fats help to increase your basal metabolic rate allowing your body to burn fat quicker.

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In another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that found eating monounsaturated fats increase satiety unlike saturated fats.

The research found that monounsaturated fats will help keep you full and satisfied longer.

This in turn helps prevent over-eating which helps with weight loss.


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While diets high in carbohydrates tend to increase fat deposits around your belly, diets high in monounsaturated fats seem to cause fat to be deposited away from your belly, according to a study published in “Diabetes Care” in June 2007.

If a person gets their fat as mainly monounsaturated fat, you can get up to 35 percent of your calories from fat without increasing deposits of abdominal fat.

This is compared to a diet with only 12 percent of calories from fat, notes another study published in “The Journal of Nutrition” in July 2004.

Great sources of monounsaturated fats include:

  • Almonds
  • Avocado
  • Cashews
  • Natural peanut or almond butter
  • Olives
  • Olive oil
  • Peanuts
  • Peanut oil
  • Sesame oil.

According to the health provider Bupa, “protein can also be a helpful way to lose weight because it makes you feel fuller than carbs and fat”.

“[I]f you include a lean source of protein in your meals you may find that you’re not as hungry, and so eat less.”

Good sources of protein include chicken, tuna, mackerel, salmon, eggs, and milk.

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