A heart-healthy diet that is is rich in fibre and low in saturated fats is the secret to weight loss and preventing belly fat. Here are five fibre-rich foods that can help you prevent abdominal obesity.
A heart-healthy diet rich in fibre and low in saturated fats can help you lose weight |Photo Credit: Thinkstock
New Delhi: If you’ve been trying hard to lose those unwanted pounds, you might have known that there’s certainly more than one way to approach weight loss - dieting, calorie counting, portion control, mindful eating, etc. While any of these may or may not work for you for a variety of reasons, there is one thing that majority of us aren’t aware of the fact that following a heart-healthy diet is a great way to lose weight and reduce belly fat. According to a study published in the Health and Fitness Journal, eating a heart-healthy diet that is rich in fibre and low in saturated fats could be the secret to weight loss and preventing that unhealthy visceral fat.
The researchers said that independent of body weight, a larger waist circumference increases the risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. A heart-healthy diet that is high in fibre and low in saturated fats can help prevent and reduce abdominal obesity. Many people go on a diet to fight abdominal obesity, but most popular diets, including intermittent fasting, high-protein diets, the ‘Paleo’ diet, and even green tea, all lack high-quality evidence. The study claimed that none of them has shown to be effective over other types of energy-restricted (reduced-calorie) diets. Read: 10-day weight loss plan: 6 easy tips to burn fat and lose weight without diet or exercise
“There is still no miracle diet, food, nutrient, or bioactive component that will target abdominal fat,” said Kari D Pilolla, from the California Polytechnic State University. However, the researches said that diets that particularly have a lower intake of trans and saturated fats and higher intake of fibre can help reduce or prevent abdominal obesity. “These recommendations are consistent with heart-healthy diets like the (US) NIH-developed Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and the Mediterranean-style diet,” Pilolla added.
Excess belly fat, in particular, is not only ugly, but it is associated with an increased risk of various health conditions. These risks are mainly related to visceral adipose tissue - fat stored below the abdominal muscles, surrounding the major internal organs. Visceral adipose tissue appears to be more “metabolically active” than subcutaneous fat, stored under the skin but above the abdominal muscles, said the study.
Fortunately, you can get rid of the dangerous belly fat by making simple changes in your lifestyle, which include eating a high-fibre diet and staying physically active. Fibre has been shown to increase satiety, reduce appetite and lead to weight loss. Here are 5 fibre-high foods that can help you lose weight and belly fat effectively while also promoting your heart health. Read: 7-day fat burning cardio workouts: 5 best aerobic exercises for weight loss and a flat tummy
An excellent way to get the fibre you need, oats can help you in overall weight loss and not just around the middle. Oats are a healthy choice for many reasons - they are affordable and packed with essential nutrients like fibre and healthy carbs.
Research has proven that legumes are a powerful superfood for improving weight loss. Black beans, garbanzo beans, and kidney beans are all a great food to add to your diet - a half cup of any of them contains around 6 grams of fibre. According to a study, people who eat beans on a regular basis have smaller waistlines and a 22 per cent lower risk of obesity.
Veggies are low in calories but packed with nutrients, including the ones that can help shrink belly fat and promote weight loss. Opt for richly coloured vegetables like carrots, beets, parsnips, brussels sprouts that are high in fibre. High-fibre foods like vegetables help maintain regular bowel movements, make you feel full longer on fewer calories.
Flaxseeds are a good source of dietary fibre, keeping you full for a long time and making your bowel movement regular. Fibre not only helps you lose weight but also reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke by lowering total and bad (LDL) cholesterol levels.
Foods like brussels sprouts are high in fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them a great food for weight loss and improving overall health. Moreover, they are also low in glycemic index - low glycemic index foods tend to digest slowly and leave you feeling full for longer period of time. This means you’re less likely to consume extra calories, which can lead to weight gain.
The bottom line is that adding more fibre-rich foods to your daily diet can help you lose weight, reduce belly fat and keep your heart healthy and happy.