Visceral fat is stored in the abdominal cavity next to many vital organs, which is why having too much can increase a person’s risk of serious health complications. Eating a poor diet has been linked to visceral fat build-up, so making changes to the food you eat is recommended by experts.
Refined carbohydrates, fatty foods and fructose-sweetened drinks should be avoided, but other types of food have been proven to help get rid of visceral fat.
A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a calorie-controlled diet that includes wholegrain significantly reduced abdominal fat.
This is partly because refined grains leave people feeling less full and may interfere with blood sugar levels and appetite control.
Oats, wild rice, buckwheat and quinoa are some good options of healthy wholegrains listed by the British Dietetics Association (BDA).
Refined grains include white bread, bagels, cakes and white rice.
A study carried out by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre found eating 10g of soluble fibre a day resulted in a 3.7 percent reduction in visceral fat over five years.
This is because soluble fibre forms a gel-like consistency when it reaches the stomach, and as well as helping to keep you full, it helps to block the absorption of cholesterol.
Visceral fat is directly linked with higher total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol and insulin resistance.
Some good examples of fibre recommended by the BDA are brown rice, banana, broccoli, almonds, peas and chickpeas.
The type of fat you eat can affect you waist size in different ways.
A study by the American Diabetes Association found a higher intake of monounsaturated fats led to lower central fat distribution and a decrease in insulin resistance.
Monounsaturated fat is present in olive and rapeseed oil, avocado and nuts.
The government recommends adults should not have more than about 5g of trans fats a day.
But the NHS advises: “Most people in the UK do not eat a lot of trans fats a day. On average eat about half the recommended maximum.
“Most of the supermarkets in the UK have removed partially hydrogenated vegetable oil from all their own-brand products.
“We eat a lot more saturated fats than trans fats. This means that when looking at the amount of fat in your diet, it’s more important to focus on reducing the amount of saturated fats.”