Nutritionists tell us how to reduce visceral fat
While some weight gain isn’t all bad and is even sometimes necessary for our health, visceral fat is another matter. Experts warn that this fat is invisible to the naked eye and wraps around the abdominal organs deep in the body. To avoid this, it is necessary to eat a balanced diet and avoid eating certain foods and carbohydrates every day. We consulted health and nutrition experts for more information.
Read on for more information on the 3 types of carbohydrates (white flour, white rice and other processed foods) by Lisa Richards, Registered Dietitian and founder of the Pseudo Silk Yeast Diet, and Gabriela Rodríguez Ruiz, MD, PhD, Flow Cytometry, FACS Certified Weight Loss Practitioner, PhD VIDA Wellness and Beauty’s surgeon.
How Refined Carbohydrates Lead to Visceral Fat
Richards says white flour, white rice and other processed foods fall into the category of refined carbohydrates, and it’s important to avoid these if your goal is to prevent unwanted weight gain. “Refined carbohydrates have many negative effects on our health, and belly fat is just one of them,” she explains.
Richards noted that white and enriched breads, in particular, undergo a refining process in which “fiber and beneficial nutrients are removed” and “may be replaced by synthetic versions. She added that these refined carbohydrates can lead to “rapid sugar spikes and inflammation, both of which can hinder weight loss and damage health.”
Rodríguez agrees and stresses “avoiding white flour, white rice and processed foods made with these ingredients.” Specifically, she said that because of refined white flour, it “is easily digested and converted into sugar, which raises insulin levels and leads to fat storage.”
Processed foods made with white flour are also “high in calories and low in nutrients,” she noted. “You won’t get full soon after eating them, which can lead to unconscious overeating,” she warns, which can lead to weight gain.
White rice is another carbohydrate to avoid, Rodriguez said. She believes it’s a high-glycemic food, which means it causes a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. It can also lead to “insulin resistance and fat storage, especially in the abdomen,” she says.
White rice is high in carbohydrates but low in fiber, she explained, adding that one cup of white rice provides 242 calories, 53.4 grams of carbohydrates and only 0.6 grams of fiber. “Low-fiber diets are associated with weight gain and obesity because it doesn’t provide satiety like fiber does,” she added.
What to eat instead
To avoid these carbs and the associated weight gain, Rodriguez recommends eating whole grains, such as brown rice and quinoa, as well as legumes. “Adding more vegetables and fruits to your diet also helps because they are rich in fiber and water and make you feel full,” she says. In addition, she says oranges and pineapples “are particularly helpful in reducing visceral fat because they are rich in nutrients, fiber and vitamin C.”
Richards concludes that a rule of thumb is to check the ingredient list and avoid any bread that starts with “concentrate. She suggests that a high-protein diet can help reduce and prevent belly fat. “Lean protein both boosts metabolism and increases satiety,” she says, “and an increase in metabolism leads to weight loss.”
She goes on to say that feeling full will “prevent overeating and indulging in high-calorie, high-sugar foods.” Some high-protein foods she recommends to lose belly fat and keep it off include “lean poultry, fish, nuts, eggs, low-fat cheese, Greek yogurt, chia seeds, lentils and quinoa.”