Lorraine: Dr Amir discusses Jennifer Anniston's diet hack
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Letting this fat build-up can also lead to serious health problems, ranging from heart disease to diabetes.The NHS states: “If you’re overweight, changes to your diet and physical activity levels are the first step to helping you lose weight. Your GP or practice nurse can help you assess your current diet and levels of physical activity, and set personal goals for change.”
The Mayo Clinic says: “The trouble with belly fat is that it’s not limited to the extra layer of padding located just below the skin (subcutaneous fat).
“It also includes visceral fat — which lies deep inside your abdomen, surrounding your internal organs.”
Regardless of your overall weight, having a large amount of belly fat increases your risk of:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
- Colorectal cancer
- Sleep apnea
- Premature death from any cause
- High blood pressure
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It says to focus on plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
It adds we should choose lean sources of protein such as fish and low-fat dairy products.
“Limit saturated fat, found in meat and high-fat dairy products, such as cheese and butter.”
“Also limit processed meats. Choose moderate amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — found in fish, nuts and certain vegetable oils — instead,” it suggests.
A study published in the National Library of Medicine says: “Observational studies have linked higher intakes of whole grains to lower abdominal adiposity; however, the association between whole- and refined-grain intake and body fat compartments has yet to be reported.”
It says increasing whole-grain intake is associated with lower visceral adipose tissue in adults, whereas higher intakes of refined grains are associated with higher visceral adipose tissue.
It says: “Further research is required to elicit the potential mechanisms whereby whole- and refined-grain foods may influence body fat distribution.”
High fibre foods are deemed beneficial for weight loss because they promote prolonged satiety, which helps control appetite.
What’s more, because the fibre found in chickpeas is soluble, it is particularly beneficial for maintaining a healthy gut microbiome, which can help with weight maintenance.
What’s more, soluble fibre is highly beneficial for reducing bad cholesterol by binding to LDL molecules inside the digestive tract and dragging them out of the body.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) says that coronary heart disease is the UK’s single “biggest killer”, noting that being overweight or obese can “increase your risk of coronary heart disease”.
It adds: “Research shows that reaching and keeping to a healthy weight can cut your risk because it helps prevent and manage conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes that put you at greater risk of coronary heart disease.”
The NHS states: “The best way to lose weight if you’re obese is through a combination of diet and exercise, and, in some cases, medicines. See a GP for help and advice.”
It adds: “Measuring your waist is a good way to check you’re not carrying too much fat around your stomach, which can raise your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.”
And the health body explains: “You can have a healthy BMI and still have excess tummy fat, meaning you’re still at risk of developing these conditions.”
Nuffield Health notes that body mass index (BMI), while still useful, has come under increasing scrutiny for not being a full representation of body composition or health.
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