There are two types of fatty tissue in the body – subcutaneous fat and visceral. The former absorbs all our attention because it is the fat we can see, but visceral fat is the one to watch. Visceral fat lies in close proximity to important organs in the body, such as the liver and intestines. It can therefore interfere with vital bodily processes, such as insulin production – a precursor to type 2 diabetes.
It is found in the following:
- Meat pies
- Sausages and fatty meat
- Butter, lard and ghee
- Cream and hard cheese, like cheddar
- Cakes and biscuits
- Food that contains coconut oil or palm oil.
To boost heart health and keep visceral fat at bay, Pilolla advised adhering to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, developed by the National Institute on Aging.
The DASH diet emphasises vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy foods — and moderate amounts of whole grains, fish, poultry and nuts.
The DASH diet is low in saturated fat, trans fat and total fat.
Good sources include chicken breast, tuna, mackerel, salmon, eggs, milk, red lentils, chickpeas, brown bread, nuts and soya.
To enhance the benefits of eating well, you should also engage in regular physical activity.
Studies have shown that you can help trim visceral fat or prevent its growth with both aerobic activity (such as brisk walking) and strength training (exercising with weights).
According to Harvard Health, spot exercises, such as sit-ups, can tighten abdominal muscles but won’t get at visceral fat.