Visceral fat lurks near vital organs in the body, such as the liver and intestines. Its precarious positioning puts you at risk of chronic complications, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, you can reduce the belly fat by making healthy dietary interventions.
A study on Chinese adults with a high proportion of abdominal visceral fat was carried out to see if catechin-enriched green tea could help.
Catechins are plant-based chemicals thought to contribute to the beneficial effects ascribed to tea.
The 12-week study found that the group drinking the green tea every day experienced greater visceral fat loss than the other group who were given a placebo.
One hundred and eighteen subjects were randomly assigned to consume daily a beverage containing 609.3 mg catechins and 68.7 mg caffeine or a control beverage for 12 weeks.
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Abdominal fat area, body weight and composition were measured at the beginning of the study, eight weeks in and 12 weeks in.
One hundred and four subjects completed the trial. Average visceral fat area, body weight, and body fat were reduced significantly by catechin-enriched green tea treatment but these effects were not seen in the control group.
The decrease at week 12 in the visceral fat area in the catechin group was greater than that in the control group.
“Thus, consumption of the catechin-enriched green tea beverage for 12 weeks induced visceral fat loss in Chinese adults with a high proportion of abdominal visceral fat,” the researchers concluded.
According to Bupa, if you want to reduce your belly fat, you’ll need to burn more calories (energy) than you consume, and eat the right kinds of food.
The health body recommends the following:
- Make sure you eat a balanced diet. Try to eat at least five portions of fruit and veg each day, and include higher-fibre starchy foods in meals
- Have some reduced-fat dairy or soya drinks fortified in calcium
- Eat more beans, pulses, fish and eggs
- Eat small amounts of unsaturated oil
- Drink six to eight glasses of water each day
- Avoid adding salt or sugar to your meals.
“And finally, cut out sports drinks, sugar sweetened drinks and other foods that have a lot of added sugar in them,” it adds.
“Be aware that low-fat options might have high amounts of added sugar in them.”