Fiber Fights Fat!

Visceral fat, the fat deep in the belly surrounding vital organs, can be dangerous to overall health. Kristen Hairston, from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (North Carolina, USA), and colleagues urge that the way to reduce visceral fat is simple: eat more soluble fiber from vegetables, fruit and beans, and engage in moderate activity. The team completed a longitudinal study involving 1,114 men and women, in which they examined whether lifestyle factors, such as diet and frequency of exercise, were associated with a five-year change in abdominal fat, with CT scans (to measure fat) administered at the study’s start and at the conclusion. The researchers found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber eaten per day, visceral fat was reduced by 3.7% over five years. When factored with the observation that increased moderate activity resulted in a 7.4% decrease in the rate of visceral fat accumulation over the same time period, the team reports that: “Soluble fiber intake and increased physical activity were related to decreased [visceral adipose tissue] accumulation over 5 years.”

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