Visceral fat: Four food swaps to slash your risk of dangerous fat build-up

Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning

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Visceral fat is a type of fat that collects around the mid-section. Due to its proximity to internal organs, which the fat often wraps itself around, health experts describe it as “dangerous”.

According to WebMd, it can increase your risk of serious medical issues including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.

The health experts add: “Researchers suspect that visceral fat makes more of certain proteins that inflame your body’s tissues and organs and narrow your blood vessels.

“That can make your blood pressure go up and cause other problems.”

Like tackling most types of fat, taking note of the food you are eating is crucial.

Luckily, there are some easy swaps you can make as part of a healthy and balanced diet.

Here are three simple food swaps to reduce your risk of visceral fat build-up

Swap regular rice for cauliflower rice

Wholegrain rice, such as brown rice, is not necessarily an unhealthy option – and is certainly preferential to white rice.

However, if you want to step your weight loss up a gear, try cauliflower rice instead.

Just as the name suggests, this is vegetable-based rice made entirely from cauliflower.

Some supermarkets do sell pre-made cauliflower rice, but if you have a blender or food processor to hand, it is easy enough to whip up a batch at home.

This can be eaten warm alongside your favourite curry-dish, or thrown into a salad.

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Swap full-fat mayonnaise for Greek yoghurt

Mayonnaise can be great for combating spicy things, especially when mixed into certain sauces or dressings.

However, the condiment is high in fat and calories.

Speaking previously to, dietician and founder of Nourish, Jane Clarke, recommends going using Greek yoghurt instead.

According to Ms Clarke, this can cut the calorific intake by as much as “a fifth” for the same amount.

Swap crisps for unsalted nuts

Sitting down with a packet of crisps is a go-to snack for many people, especially if you are craving something salty.

However, this savoury snack is packed full of unhealthy fats and high levels of sodium.

Nuts are a much better option, rich in protein and healthy fats.

As a result, a handful of unsalted nuts can keep you fuller for longer while easing your cravings.

But, be careful not to eat too many nuts as these are high in calories.

The serving size of most nuts is approximately one small handful or around a quarter cup.

This amount should just fit into the palm of your hand.

Swap processed meats for oily fish

Most people know that eating too much processed meat is bad for their health, but having meat with every meal is ingrained for some people.

However, swapping out meat for oily fish even just once a week could make a world of difference for your waistline.

Processed meats can cause inflammation, which can add to a layer of fat around your midsection.

Instead, opt for an oily fish, such as salmon, which is packed full of heart-healthy omega-3s.

High in protein, salmon can also help to regulate the hormones that control your appetite, keeping you feeling fuller for longer.

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