Visceral fat is considered harmful because it’s stored in the abdominal cavity next to many vital organs, including the liver, pancreas and intestines. If a person has too much visceral fat their risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease will be increased. So what can you do to reduce visceral fat? A diet high in saturated fat can lead to visceral fat build-up, so changing what you eat is key.
But what diet is considered best and what foods should you be eating?
Low-carb diets have been proven effective at banishing visceral fat.
Many studies have demonstrated a low-carb diet is more effective at reducing visceral fat than low-fat diets.
One eight-week study involving 69 overweight men and women found people who followed a low-carb diet lost 10 per cent more visceral fat and 4.4 per cent more total fat than those on a low-fat diet.
When it comes to specific foods to eat, experts recommend probiotics.
Studies have suggested probiotics can help you lose visceral fat, because they may reduce dietary fat absorption in the gut, increasing how much of it you excrete in faeces. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25884980)
Researchers have also suggested probiotics may help promote higher levels of GLP-1, a fullness hormone, and ANGPTL4, a protein that may help reduce fat storage.
A number of studies have shown some probiotic bacteria from the Lactobacillus family, such as Lactobacillus gasseri, may help lose visceral fat.
One study involving 210 healthy Japanese adults looked at the effects of taking Lactobacillus gasseri over a 12-week period.
The results found participants who took Lactobacillus gasseri lost 8.5 per cent visceral fat.
As soon as they stopped taking the probiotic they gained all the visceral fat back within a month.