Eat Away Belly Fat

Increase soluble fiber to decrease belly fat

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Fat can be tricky because some fat is good for you, but too much is detrimental. Fat found deep in the belly is one of those kinds of fats that’s not good for you.

There are two types of fat: subcutaneous (fat under the skin) and visceral (fat in the belly that surrounds vital organs). Visceral fat is more dangerous to your overall health compared to subcutaneous fat because high amounts are linked to high blood pressure, diabetes and fatty liver disease.

Researchers may have found a way to help get rid of visceral fat.

"Eat more fruits, vegetables and beans to get rid of belly fat."

Lead researcher, Kristen Hairston, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, and colleagues found that eating 10 grams of soluble fiber daily will lower visceral fat by 3.7 percent over five years. They also found that exercising for 30 minutes two to four times a week will reduce visceral fat by 7.4 percent over the same period.

Including 10 grams of soluble fiber into your diet is easy, says Dr. Hairston. All you have to do is eat two small apples, one cup of green peas and half a cup of pinto beans.

This study shows that simple changes in diet can have huge benefits. More research is being done on fiber supplements to see if they produce the same results as dietary fiber (eating foods with fiber).

There were 1,114 participants who were given a physical exam, questionnaire and CT scan. Using a CT scan is the most accurate method of measuring the amount of visceral and subcutaneous fat.

“Although the fiber-obesity relationship has been extensively studied, the relationship between fiber and specific fat deposits has not. Our study is valuable because it provides specific information on how dietary fiber, especially soluble fiber, may affect weight accumulation through abdominal fat deposits” Dr. Hairston said.

The research is published in the journal Obesity.

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Review Date: 
June 29, 2011
Last Updated:
July 3, 2011