Foods containing fibre, like fruit and vegetables, can help to reduce weight and belly fat, research finds.
Supplementation with psyllium, which is full of fibre and available as a supplement, can also reduce belly fat.
Belly fat is the fat that surrounds the vital organs, deep in the belly.
Unfortunately, there is no miracle food that can reduce belly fat on its own.
However, eating a heart-healthy diet high in fibre can help to reduce abdominal fat.
Adding as little as 10 grams of soluble fibre per day has been shown to reduce belly fat by 4 percent.
Exercise on top increases this figure to 7 percent.
Fibre helps to reduce belly fat by turning to a gel during digestion.
As a result people feel more full, among other benefits, stopping from eating more.
One type of food that contains high amounts of fibre is psyllium, a plant sometimes used as a food ingredient.
A study has tested the effects of psyllium supplementation on visceral or belly fat.
The research included 45 health adolescents who were given 6g per day of psyllium or a placebo.
The adolescents made no other changes to their diet or lifestyle.
After six weeks, the results showed that supplementation with psyllium had reduced belly fat and decreased levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol.
The study’s authors describe the results:
“Our data show that even in the context of a relatively short intervention, psyllium supplementation improves LDL cholesterol and android fat to gynoid fat ratio [in other words, it reduced belly fat].
Our study corroborates previous data showing that psyllium has lipid lowering properties in children and adolescents.
The 6% improvement in LDL cholesterol concentrations we observed is comparable to other studies that have shown improvements of 0–23% using psyllium doses ranging from 5–25 g/day.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the journal PLoS One (de Bock et al., 2012).