Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning
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Hidden deep inside your abdominal cavity, visceral fat surrounds some of your vital organs, such as the liver and pancreas. This tricky location means the fatty substance can trigger serious health problems, ranging from heart disease to diabetes. Fortunately, dietary tweaks could help stamp the belly fat out. What’s more, research suggests that a popular alcoholic drink could also have a few tricks up its sleeve.
From a chilled glass of G&T to a pint of beer, Britons like to enjoy the occasional tipple.
If your drink of choice is red wine, then you might be onto something, according to research.
A study, published in the Obesity Science & Practice journal, found that drinking red wine has been linked to carrying less visceral fat.
Looking at 1,869 white participants, aged between 40 to 80 years, the research team asked their subjects to self-report their alcohol consumption and other lifestyle habits via a questionnaire.
The research then looked at what role alcohol plays for visceral fat levels, with red wine coming top of the list.
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Elena Ognivtseva, dietitian and nutritionist from JustCBD, explained why other types of wine didn’t share the same benefits.
She said: “Red wine has a surprising amount of antioxidants called phenolic acids and polyphenols.
“When you start taking antioxidants, your metabolism may increase. As a result, you may burn more calories and lose body weight.
“Antioxidants also reverse oxidative stress, which occurs when the body produces a lot of free radicals, making antioxidant levels dip.
“Oxidative stress is associated with the accumulation of visceral fat and metabolic diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
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“By reversing it, you can reduce visceral fat and improve your metabolic health.”
James Brady, Personal Trainer at OriGym, explained that one antioxidant called resveratrol seems to be especially important.
This plant goodie could discourage fat storage and even reduce your levels of inflammation.
Brady said: “To reap these benefits, it’s recommended to drink red wine moderately.
“There’s general agreement in the scientific community that moderate drinking can be defined as no more than three to four standard drinks per drinking session.
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“Ideally, one or two small glasses of wine with a meal should be enough.”
The research team also added that adults should only drink in moderation and consider replacing the likes of beer and spirits with red wine.
While the drink seems to offer some interesting benefits, it’s still a type of alcohol which comes with a lot of downsides.
The recommended weekly limit for alcoholic drinks is set at 14 units, which represents the equivalent of six pints of average-strength beer or 10 small glasses of low-strength wine.
Brady said: “According to the NHS, consuming too much alcohol has a range of long and short-term effects.
“These short-term effects can happen after heavy drinking episodes and include things such as accidents, injury, vomiting, violence, and antisocial behaviour.
“Long-term effects can be more severe and years of heavy drinking can impact the body’s organs, causing damage.”
Furthermore, Ognivtseva explained that red wine alone probably won’t have a “significant” impact on weight loss.
“To get the best results, I advise you to eat a balanced diet and make lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly.”
She also added that consuming large amounts of red wine could increase visceral fat instead of reducing it due to the drink’s calorific profile.
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