Lowering sugar consumption by about one can of soda and adding one half-cup of fibre-rich foods daily reduces abdominal fat and type 2 diabetes risk.
A study has found that decreasing about 47 grams of sugar intake per day — equivalent to a can of soda — lowers insulin secretion, on average, by 33 percent.
Increasing fibre intake by 5 grams a day — the amount in a half cup of beans — results in a 10 percent reduction of belly fat.
Visceral fat is a type of body fat stored within the abdominal area and internal organs.
This type of fat causes abdominal obesity and is also associated with several health problems, like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Dr Emily Ventura and colleagues conducted a 16-week study on overweight Latino adolescents who were between 12 to 19 years old.
They tested if increasing fiber consumption and decreasing sugar intake have an effect on type 2 diabetes risk factors.
The study’s authors wrote:
“A reduction in visceral fat indicates a reduction in risk for type 2 diabetes, considering that to a greater degree than total body fat, visceral fat [fat surrounding the internal organs] has been shown to be negatively associated with insulin sensitivity.”
Those who increased fiber intake had a significant reduction in body mass index (-2 percent vs. 2 percent) and visceral adipose tissue (-10 percent vs. no change) compared with those who decreased fiber intake.”
Being overweight or obese are serious issues affecting adults and children around the world.
The World Health Organization reports that in 2016 over 1.9 billion adults were overweight and more than 650 million adults were obese.
The authors of this study wrote:
“Our results suggest that intensive interventions may not be necessary to achieve modifications in sugar and fiber intake.
Accordingly, nutritional guidance given in the primary care or community setting may be sufficient to promote the suggested dietary changes in some individuals.
In addition, policies that promote reduced intake of added sugar and increased intake of fiber could be effective public health strategies for the prevention of type 2 diabetes in this high-risk population.”
About the author
Mina Dean is a Nutritionist and Food Scientist. She holds a BSc in Human Nutrition and an MSc in Food Science.
The study was published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (Ventura et al., 2009).