Foods like fruits, vegetables and beans can help with reducing belly fat and weight loss, studies repeatedly find.
In one study, which included 1,114 people, people lost almost 4 percent of their belly fat by adding 10 grams of soluble fat per day to their diet.
Foods that are high in soluble fibre include:
- Sweet potatoes
Adding some moderate exercise on top of this and belly fat was reduced by an average of over 7 percent.
Belly fat surrounds the vital organs and is particularly bad for health, said Dr Kristen Hairston, the study’s first author:
“We know that a higher rate of visceral fat is associated with high blood pressure, diabetes and fatty liver disease.
Our study found that making a few simple changes can have a big health impact.”
Soluble fibres are good for weight loss because they turn into a gel during digestion.
As a result people’s blood sugar is lower and they feel more full.
Dr Hairston said:
“There is mounting evidence that eating more soluble fiber and increasing exercise reduces visceral or belly fat, although we still don’t know how it works.
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.”
To reach the daily target for soluble fibre, one option would be to add a cup of green beans, two apples and half a cup of pinto beans.
Fighting belly fat is very important as it is linked to fatty diabetes, liver disease and high blood pressure.
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 Obesity (Hairston et al., 2011).