Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning
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There are three different types of fat in your body: essential, subcutaneous and visceral fat. While subcutaneous fat is the jiggly substance that you can pinch with your fingers, visceral fat is hidden deep in your abdominal cavity. This tricky position makes it a ticking time bomb, raising your risk of various health problems, ranging from diabetes to heart disease. Fortunately, one popular drink could help stamp it out.
According to research, published in the journal Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, the drink that may help reduce the stubborn belly fat is vinegar.
With stars like Victoria Beckham swearing by apple cider vinegar, the pungent beverage has received a lot of attention in recent years.
However, from kombucha to apple cider vinegar, drinks with a kick of sourness are nothing new.
While vinegar might strike a sour note, it’s been linked to a variety of health benefits – not short of lower cholesterol levels and weight loss.
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A staple of every kitchen cupboard, vinegar is simply a combination of acetic acid and water, made through a fermentation process.
When it comes to visceral fat, the potent part of the drink seems to be the acetic acid.
This component was previously proven to “supress body fat accumulation” in animal models.
So, this study decided to put it to a test, by looking at “obese” participants divided into three groups based on their body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference.
Waist circumference is often an indicator of higher visceral fat levels. Because of the position of this type of fat, there are not many visual clues that can give it away.
The study subjects were given 500 millilitres of a beverage containing either 15 millilitres of vinegar, 30 millilitres or no vinegar at all.
After following this drink regimen for 12 weeks, the researchers saw visceral fat “significantly” lowered in both vinegar groups.
They also saw a reduction in the participants’ body weight, BMI and waist circumference.
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One specific type of vinegar has received a lot of praise when it comes to weight loss – apple cider vinegar.
Holland and Barrett explains that this vinegar could help slow down the absorption of starches in food.
This can make you feel fuller for longer and cut your appetite.
What’s more, a study published in the Journal of Functional Foods found that people who followed a weight-loss diet supplemented with the drink were able to lose more weight.
However, the Mayo Clinic reports that these findings should be taken with a pinch of salt, as results across studies tend to be inconsistent.
Furthermore, a study from 2016 concluded that “cider vinegar probably won’t help anyone slim down, but it may help those who struggle with their blood sugar or cholesterol levels”.
In fact, the participants who consumed cider vinegar saw an average 13 percent reduction in their total cholesterol.
This was “particularly impressive” because the volunteers were all healthy at the start, with normal cholesterol levels.
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