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Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning

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Visceral fat is body fat that is stored within the abdominal cavity and is therefore stored around a number of important internal organs such as the liver, pancreas and intestines. Having an excess of this type of fat increases your risk of a heart attack. Eating more of a certain type of food has been proven to help with insulin resistance further fuelling belly fat loss. 

Carrying a high amount of visceral fat is known to be associated with insulin resistance, which can lead to glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes, said Diabetes.co.uk.

The health charity added: “Researchers have found that visceral [fat] secretes a protein called retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4) which has been shown to increase resistance to insulin.”

To help combat this process, experts recommend eating more high-quality protein to not only help lower visceral fat but also lower insulin resistance.

READ MORE: How to get rid of visceral fat: Eat more of a particular food to burn belly fat – study

When it comes to burning belly fat, a high-protein diet may be key.

Protein is one of the most important macronutrients for shifting belly fat with research showing that it can help to reduce cravings by a whopping 60 percent.

Protein can also help increase metabolism by 80 to 100 calories per day which in turn could help a person consume up to 440 fewer calories per day.

High protein is said to release the “fullness hormone PYY”, said Healthline.

The PYY hormone decreases a person’s appetite and promotes the feeling of fullness.

As a result, people who eat more protein are less likely to feel hungry and snack during the day.

In a study published in BMC Public Health investigated how quality protein intake may help with shifting abdominal fat.

Waist circumference is a surrogate marker for abdominal obesity, and this type of obesity is associated with significant risks of developing type 2 diabetes, lorazepam length coronary artery disease, stroke, and a higher risk of mortality, even after adjustments for general obesity, began the study.

It added: “However, the quality of the protein source consumed and the distribution of that protein throughout the day with respect to central abdominal fat (CAF) have not been investigated in free living conditions.”

Twenty-seven healthy males and females participated in this cross-sectional study with their daily food records analysed over three days with quality protein, carbohydrate and dietary fat intake consumed.

The study said: “The data from this study demonstrates that both quality and distribution of dietary protein throughout the day is important.”

The study concluded that people who ate more and better protein had much less abdominal fat.

Examples of high-quality protein include:

Fish – Salmon, tuna, halibut, and whitefish are all considered lean, complete protein.

Meat – Most animal proteins are considered complete and high-quality. This includes red meat, poultry, and dairy products.

Eggs – An average egg is a low-fat source with approximately six or seven grams of protein.

Quinoa – This plant-based food includes each of the nine amino acids that are considered essential.
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