Those of us who are not Gigi Hadid have felt the need to suck in our stomachs when meeting a crush at a beach hangout for the first time. We’re body positive, but let’s be real—we’re only human! There are important, non-superficial reasons to be wary of abdominal fat, though. Deep visceral abdominal fat, which is posited between your organs as opposed to just underneath your skin, is by far the most dangerous excess fat in your body. Studies have linked excess abdominal fat to heart failure, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, dementia, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, colorectal cancer, high blood pressure, and metabolic syndrome. Unfortunately, many women experience that the very last place their fat loss happens is the abs.
A new study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign suggests that there is a nutritional powerhouse that can help reduce abdominal fat. Over 100 subjects were divided into two groups, only one of which was provided with one avocado every day. Over a 12-week period, the researchers found that women who ate one avocado each day had a reduction in deep visceral abdominal fat, but the men did not (!).
This seems to be the latest in debunking the age-old “a calorie is a calorie” myth. Your body metabolizes different foods differently; some foods are even worse for abdominal fat than the rest of your body. When you consume alcohol, your liver sets to work metabolizing alcohol instead of burning fat, which leads to a “beer belly.” Researchers at Wake Forest University have also found that trans fats not only make you gain weight, but even move fat from other parts of the body to your abdomen. Trans fats can be found in margarine, baked goods, crackers, and fried foods.
Before you head to the grocery store to stock up on avocados, also consider adding these abdominal fat-reducing foods. According to the Journal of Nutrition, green tea stimulates weight loss and speeds abdominal fat loss due to its substance called catechins. Studies also show that a low-fat diet rich in blueberries can ward off abdominal fat. Sounds like an avocado-blueberry salad with green tea might become your new favorite lunch!
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Photo: Dusan Jovic via Unsplash