Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning
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When thinking about belly fat, many instantly visualise a jiggly substance that can be pinched. But visceral fat is hidden deep inside your belly, surrounding some of your vital organs, such as liver and pancreas. This pesky location makes visceral fat a smoking gun – it can trigger serious health problems, ranging from heart disease to diabetes. Fortunately, stamping out the culprit could be as easy as drinking tea.
Knowing whether your belly is housing visceral fat can be difficult due to its hidden location but it’s imperative to keep this fat to a minimum.
According to Researcher and Chemist, Dr Tim Bond from the Tea Advisory Panel, black and green tea could come to the rescue.
Dr Bond said: “Both black and green tea can reduce visceral (belly fat). Green tea has a strong reputation in the public’s mind for weight management but it’s important to realise that black tea can help too.
“Both teas boost metabolism and hence help with weight loss thanks to their content of polyphenol catechins.”
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When it comes to the potent part of the warming drinks, both tea types are packed with powerful plant compounds, known as polyphenols.
The expert said: “Black tea polyphenols inhibit body fat accumulation through increasing body fat breakdown, helping to reduce the development of fat cells and blocking the processes of obesity and associated body fat increase through an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanism.
“Green tea catechins also increase visceral fat loss particularly when combined with exercise.”
Don’t just take Dr Bond’s word for it, as different bodies of research are also backing green tea.
For example, research, published in the Journal of Functional Foods, found that catechin-rich green tea was able to burn visceral fat in 12 weeks.
Looking at 118 subjects, the research team instructed participants to drink catechin-rich beverage, caffeine drink or a control.
They measured the participant’s body weight and composition at weeks zero, eight and 12.
The findings suggested that green tea was able to stamp out visceral fat and body fat in “weeks”.
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And this isn’t the only research to tie the green drink to weight loss. Dr Bond said: “A further trial in 240 people also found that green tea reduced belly fat.
“Tea may also contribute to weight and fat loss through a prebiotic effect.
“Research shows that tea polyphenols generate short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in the gut which interact with the gut microbiota and influence fat metabolism.”
While research suggests that you can start seeing effects in as little as 12 weeks, the expert said drinking tea to lose fat is a “slow burn”.
He added: “Research has shown you can lose around 1.5kg over 12 weeks drinking green tea and a proportion of that will be visceral fat.
“Drinking tea instead of sugary drinks and alcohol will help you to lose fat quicker.
“Coupled with a healthy diet and exercise, four cups of black and/or green tea should help you to lose weight and hence visceral fat.”
When it comes to your tea prep, the expert recommended avoiding sugar if you want to keep it low in calories and ensure weight loss.
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