Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning

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Labelled harmful, visceral fat is the precursor of serious health problems, ranging from heart disease to diabetes. The toxicity stems from the fatty culprit’s location – deep inside your belly. While you might not be able to see this type of fat, it’s essential to keep it to a minimum. Fortunately, research suggests that a certain type of food could help burn it.

Whether you enjoy yours on toast or pair them with a salad, beans are a tasty, versatile treat that are also very affordable.

Packed with iron and antioxidants, beans offer plenty of protein and fibre, while keeping its calorie content low.

If this isn’t enough to convince you to add the simple food to your weekly menu, research published in the journal Nutrients might.

The study found that the common bean can help reduce harmful belly fat in “days”.

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The research team looked at the effects of beans on visceral adiposity in rats because of the food’s “low-fat content”.

In case you aren’t familiar, adiposity describes having a lot or too much fatty tissue in your body.

The researchers settled on three experiments in total to observe the effects of a bean diet on the animal models.

For experiments one and two, rats were fed either cooked, whole bean diet or cooked, processed bean powder.

These first two trials lasted for 26 and 29 days respectively. The third experiment, which ran for 25 days, also included a bean regimen.

The results showed that following the pulse protocol was able to cut visceral fatty tissue and even made the rats lighter.

The researchers stated: “Pulses such as common bean are neglected staple food crops in many Western societies that are experiencing a pandemic increase in the prevalence of obesity.

“Common bean has a specific anti-obesogenic activity which could lessen the impact of obesity on chronic diseases in individuals who are already overweight or obese.

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“And potentially reduce the risk of adult weight gain by inhibiting accumulation of lipid [fats] in visceral fat deposit [areas].”

However, the study also added that more research is currently needed to establish a firm link between beans and weight loss.

Furthermore, the caveat of this study is that it only looked at animal models instead of humans.

However, pulses are generally good sources of protein and dietary fibre while maintaining a “very low-fat” content.

Protein has been previously linked to visceral fat loss as well, according to the National Library of Medicine.

Different studies suggest that people who eat more protein tend to have less visceral fat.

The reason why protein can help with weight loss comes down to how your body breaks it down.

Protein has a complex chemical structure, making your body break it down slowly which can help you feel fuller for longer.

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