Increasing daily soluble fiber intake may help you lose dangerous visceral fat, which produces hormones and other substances linked to a host of chronic diseases, according to a new study.
Unlike the subcutaneous fat found just under the skin, visceral fat is located deep in the belly and wraps around a person’s vital organs. Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center found the way to hone in on this deep belly fat is to get moderate amounts of regular exercise and to eat more soluble fiber from vegetables, fruits and beans.
Using CT scans to measure subcutaneous and visceral fat, researchers found that increased intake of soluble fiber was associated with a reduction in belly fat, but not subcutaneous fat.
In fact, for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber eaten per day, visceral fat was reduced by 3.7 percent over five years. In addition, regular moderate exercise (30 minutes of vigorous exercise two to four times per week) resulted in a 7.4 percent reduction over the same time period.
So what exactly does a person need to eat to get 10-grams of soluble fiber each day? The researchers noted this could be achieved by eating two small apples, one cup of green peas and one-half cup of pinto beans daily.