How to get rid of visceral fat: Five foods to avoid to banish ‘dangerous’ belly fat

Visceral fat, because of where it’s stored in the body, can be detrimental to a person’s health. For this reason it’s often referred to as “dangerous” fat. 

It surrounds vital organs like the pancreas, liver and intestines, and the more visceral fat a person has stored, the more likely they are to develop a serious health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

One of the main causes of visceral fat is poor diet, so what foods should you look to avoid if you want to get rid of visceral fat?

Cutting down on excess and added sugar is the recommendation by medical director, UK Insurance Bupa UK, and there are five foods he advises you cut down on.

The foods he recommends avoiding include:

  • Sports drinks
  • Sugar-Sweetened drinks
  • Foods that have a lot of added sugar in them
  • Low-fat options
  • Too many fruits and vegetables

He explained: “Sugar-sweetened drinks, and in particular fructose-sweetened ones, have been shown in some research to cause higher levels of belly fat than other types of sugars. Though you should aim to reduce how much refined sugar you have in your diet overall.

“If you have a high intake of sugar, it’s been suggested by some experts that your liver can’t handle it and processes it in a way that results in damage to your health.”


Another cause of visceral fat is lack of exercise, so Dr James also recommends doing HIIT, which stands for high intensity interval training, is the best type of exercise to burn fat.

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The premise of HIIT is going all out and giving it everything you’ve got, for a short burst, followed by a lower intensity exercise or rest, then repeat.

Dr James explained: “Cardiovascular exercise is important for weight loss but I’d say that interval training is perhaps the best approach for fat loss – especially belly fat.

“It’s been suggested that HIIT has an effect on your hormones, particularly ones such a your belly.

“It also increases your fitness levels so you’ll notice these benefits too.

“Intense exercise also speeds up how much energy and fat you burn post exercise.”

Dr James recommends monitoring your pulse so you can tell when you’re in the fat burning zone, and if you’re not sure how to measure it there are apps and wearable measurements, like a Fitbit, available.

He added: “I’d recommend strength (resistance) exercises too. They help maintain your muscle mass and your glucose metabolism (the way your body processes sugar and uses it for furl), which are important for managing your weight.

“Resistance training has also been shown to maintain reduced fat mass, and to act on the visceral fat in your abdominal area.”

Harvard Health Publishing, part of Harvard Medical School, also recommends not smoking to get rid of visceral fat.

Daily Express :: Health Feed