Visceral fat, also known as belly fat, is a grave concern because it accumulates near vital organs, such as the liver and intestines, hiking the risk of metabolic conditions, such as diabetes. It is therefore imperative to keep visceral fat at bay by adhering to a healthy lifestyle. Eating a healthy diet is a key component of a healthy lifestyle and particular foods have been singled out for their belly-fat burning benefits.
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Almonds, for example, have been shown to be a potent weapon against visceral fat.
A study investigating the heart-healthy benefits of eating almonds found that the popular snack also significantly reduced visceral fat.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found that a daily snack of 1.5 ounces (42g) of whole natural almonds, significantly reduced abdominal fat mass, waist circumference and leg fat mass.
Commenting on the findings, study lead Claire Berryman, PhD, said: “Our research found that substituting almonds for a high-carbohydrate snack improved numerous heart health risk factors, including the new finding that eating almonds reduce belly fat.”
She added: “Choosing almonds as a snack may be a simple way to help fight the onset of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.”
The finding is not entirely surprising. Almonds are low in carbohydrates and a low-carb diet is proven to be an effective way to combat belly fat.
In fact, many studies have shown that low-carb diets are more effective at reducing visceral fat than low-fat diets.
In an eight-week study including 69 overweight men and women, scientists found that people who followed a low-carb diet lost 10 percent more visceral fat and 4.4 percent more total fat than those on a low-fat diet.
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Additionally, the ketogenic diet, which is a very low-carb diet, may also help reduce visceral fat, suggests research.
According a review investigating the benefits of following a keto diet, Ketogenic diets drastically reduce carb intake and replace it with fat.
This can put you in a natural metabolic state called ketosis, a process whereby you start breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies, explains Harvard Health.
This process has been shown to bring significant fat-burning benefits.
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A study including 28 overweight and obese adults found that those who followed a ketogenic diet lost more fat, especially visceral fat, than people following a low-fat diet.
In addition to eating a healthy, balanced diet, exercising also attacks visceral fat.
Why is exercise so effective at burning fat?
As medical website LiveStrong explains, a weight loss of five to 10 percent of your total body weight can help reduce visceral fat stores.
“To achieve that, your daily caloric balance (calories consumed minus calories burned) needs to be negative,” says the health body.
More specifically, in order to lose a pound a week, your calorie deficit must be 500 calories per day, notes the health site.
Exercise plays an integral role in achieving this calorie deficit, it says.
To reap the benefits of exercise, you should engage in regular moderate-intensity physical activity, such as running, at least 30 minutes per day, and perhaps up to 60 minutes per day, advises Harvard Health.
Strength training (exercising with weights) may also help fight abdominal fat, it adds.
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