Study: Soluble Fiber Can Zap Unhealthy Belly Fat

A new study found that eating more soluble fiber can reduce harmful visceral fat, which is found deep in the belly.

Stubborn belly fat got you down? Try eating more soluble fiber.

Visceral fat, which lurks deep in the abdomen, is far more dangerous than the subcutaneous fat found just beneath the skin’s surface. However, because of its location, visceral fat can also be difficult to get rid of.

A new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center shows that the best way to banish this stubborn, unhealthy belly fat is to eat more soluble fiber from vegetables, fruit and beans, and engage in moderate activity.

The study found that increasing the amount of soluble fiber eaten by 10 grams per day reduced visceral fat by more than 3 percent over five years. Also, increased moderate activity resulted in a more than 7 percent decrease in the accumulation of visceral fat over the same time period.

Kristen Hairston, M.D., who was the lead researcher on the study, said 10 grams of soluble fiber can be achieved by eating two small apples, 1 cup of green peas and 1/2 cup of pinto beans. Moderate activity refers to exercising vigorously for 30 minutes, two to four times a week.

“We know that a higher rate of visceral fat is associated with high blood pressure, diabetes and fatty liver disease,” Hairston said. “Our study found that making a few simple changes can have a big health impact.”

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