Soluble Fiber-Rich Foods Protect Against Abdominal Obesity
December 12, 2011
By Michelle Bosmier
Eating more soluble fibers is the way to lower the levels of dangerous visceral fat, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The experiments performed by a team of scientists have proven that as much as 10 grams of soluble fiber taken in our daily diet can lead to a decrease in the levels of intra-abdominal fat by as much as 3.7 percent over a 5 year span.
In common usage, the term fat covers what actually are different types of adipose tissue accumulations in various places in the human body. Subcutaneous fat, not directly linked to obesity related pathologies, is located in the hypodermis region, while the visceral fat or intra -abdominal fat is located within the abdominal cavity and around internal organs like the stomach, intestines, kidneys or liver.
A high level of this type of fat is known as central obesity, which is considered highly dangerous and has been linked to cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, inflammatory diseases and other obesity related dysfunctions, as well as alterations of cognitive processes.
During their experiments, the scientists evaluated the impact that lifestyle factors like dietary habits and exercise have on the levels of abdominal fat. The study was aimed at African American and Hispanic American populations, as statistically these populations showed elevated risk levels for the development of visceral fat and some associated conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
A number of 1114 subjects were given extensive physical exams, combined with CT scans, in order to accurately determine the initial levels of intra-abdominal fat, and they were required to provide relevant data regarding their lifestyle through a questionnaire. After 5 years, the subjects undertook the same tests once again.