Expert says popular spice could reduce visceral fat
Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning
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Visceral fat is stored deep in the belly unlike subcutaneous fat, which can be seen under the skin. A certain amount is needed to protect and insulate the vital organs. However, too much of it can be dangerous.
Having an excessive amount of visceral fat is known to result in a range of issues including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
The main causes of excess visceral fat include an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise.
But a certain addition to your diet could help eliminate visceral fat.
Speaking with Express.co.uk, registered dietitian at JustCBD – Nataly Komova – recommended the spice cumin for weight loss.
She said: “Cumin can lower triglyceride levels, promoting healthy cholesterol levels. Having healthy cholesterol levels reduces the likelihood of gaining weight.
“Cumin can also help you get rid of visceral fat by elevating your metabolic rate and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.”
This was backed by a study published in the Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice journal in 2014.
As part of a trial, 88 overweight or obese women were randomly assigned into two groups.
One group was given three grams of cumin powder with yoghurt a day over three months.
The others were given the same amount of yoghurt without the cumin.
The study said: “Cumin powder reduced serum levels of fasting cholesterol, triglyceride, and low-density lipoprotein (‘bad’ cholesterol) and increased high-density lipoprotein (‘good’ cholesterol).
“Weight, body mass index, waist circumference, fat mass and its percentage significantly reduced.”
Researchers explained why they focused on the effect of cumin on fat.
The study said: “Using of medicinal plants can be a viable alternative for synthetic drugs. Extensive studies have been performed on the effects of different medicinal plants on plasma lipids and weight loss.
“Cumin, as one of these medicinal plants, contains more than 100 different chemicals, including essential fatty acids and volatile oils
“Some studies have shown that cumin may have decreasing effects of blood lipids and weight.
“However, to the best knowledge of us, the majority of these studies have been done on animals and the published human studies have been conducted on patients suffering from diabetes or hypercholesterolemia.”
It concluded: “Cumin powder in a weight reduction diet showed improvement in anthropometric and biochemical parameters in overweight/obese women.”
You are unable to know exactly how much visceral fat is hidden in your body without imaging tests, however, it is possible to get a rough estimate by measuring your waist using the belly button as a marker.
For women 35 inches or more can signal visceral fat, whereas for men it is 40 inches or more.
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