Having too much visceral fat can lead to a number of health problems because of where it sits on your body. If you have too much visceral fat (also known as abdominal fat or belly fat), a type of fat that sits around your internal organs, you can increase your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
If you want to lose abdominal fat, it can be challenging to know where to start. “While you can’t spot-reduce visceral fat, you can improve your overall health and shrink it through dietary changes, which include eating more fiber and protein, and drinking enough water to stay hydrated,” says Janet Coleman, RD a registered dietitian with The Consumer Mag.
One way to make these dietary changes is during the first meal of the day. “Eating a balanced breakfast helps with weight loss in general because it jumpstarts your metabolism, but if you want to lose abdominal fat specifically, you’ll need to eat better all day long, not just at breakfast,” says Coleman.
To help start your day in a healthy way, check out this list of the best breakfast foods to eat to help shrink abdominal fat, and for more healthy eating tips, check out The Worst Eating Habits for Belly Fat.
Oatmeal has been linked with many health benefits like stabilizing your blood sugar, lowering cholesterol levels, decreasing your risk of chronic disease, and helping to manage weight loss.
Most of its oatmeal’s benefits can be attributed to its high soluble fiber content, which is a crucial nutrient in weight loss. In fact, a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that soluble fiber intake is linked to lower abdominal fat specifically.
Almonds and other nuts
According to Coleman, almonds and other nuts can be a great way to help decrease belly fat. “Nuts are an excellent source of plant-based protein and healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids,” says Coleman, “and omega-3s can help regulate blood sugar and insulin, which is important in lowering belly fat.” If you don’t like almonds, walnuts are another type of nut high in omega-3s.
Fruit is a great food to add to your breakfast to help you shrink abdominal fat because it can help curb sugar cravings throughout the day and can keep you full for longer periods of time because of its fiber content.
Specific fruits like strawberries and blueberries contain flavonoids, which have been known to help with weight loss. And according to Coleman, “including fruits in your breakfast like papaya, pomegranate, green apple, kiwi, and oranges can lower cholesterol levels and decrease risk factors for heart disease and stroke.”
It’s important to round out your breakfast and include some protein and healthy fats with your fruit if possible. You can make a bowl of oatmeal and include fruit with your favorite nut butter, or you can make an omelet and eat a cup of fruit on the side.
Many people may skip over the idea of fermented food for breakfast, but research points to fermentation as a useful tool for losing abdominal fat.
“Fermented foods come in many forms such as sauerkraut, kefir, or kimchi, and are packed with good bacteria that promote gut health,” says Allison Tallman, MS, RDN, CNSC, a registered dietitian at Sporting Smiles, “and studies show that consumption of fermented foods can reduce visceral fat, especially in the abdominal region.” For the best fermented breakfast, start off with a bowl of yogurt topped with fruit, nuts, and seeds.
Salmon is another delicious source of healthy fats that you can start your day with.
“Salmon is a type of healthy fat that may reduce visceral fat because it contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and iron, and high levels of these nutrients have been associated with lower visceral fat content,” says Tallman.
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