Visceral fat poses a serious health risk because having too much can increase the risk of heart problems, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
It’s stored in the abdominal cavity next to many vital organs, such as the liver, stomach and intestines, which is why it can have such a detrimental impact on a person’s health. What’s important to note is it’s not pinchable and isn’t necessarily associated with being overweight or obese. So what can you do to get rid of it?
Eating a poor diet, high in sugar and saturated fat, is one of the main causes of visceral fat, so making some simple changes to your diet is key.
While eating fatty foods and too many carbohydrates is advised against, other food and drinks have been found to aid visceral fat loss.
Apple cider vinegar is recommended by experts to help with weight loss and some studies have suggested it can also target visceral fat.
The Central Research Institute in Japan undertook a double-blind 12 week trial on obese Japanese subjects.
They were randomly assigned to three groups of similar body weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference.
The subjects in each group ingested 500ml daily of a beverage containing either 15ml of vinegar, 30ml of vinegar, or 0ml of vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar is usually consumed in drink form by adding one to two teaspoons to eight ounces of water.
The results of the study in Japan revealed alongside body weight, BMI, waist circumference and serum triglyceride, visceral fat levels were significantly lower in both vinegar intake groups than in the placebo group.
More research is required to substantiate whether apple cider vinegar can aid visceral fat loss, but so far studies have found it helps to lose weight because of the acid in the liquid, known as acetic acid.
The acid increases an enzyme AMPK, which scientists claim increases fat burning and decreases fat and sugar production.
But before taking apple cider vinegar you should also consider the other effects it can have on your body – it could harm your teeth.
A lab study took enamel from wisdom teeth and immersed it in different vinegars with pH levels ranging from 2.7 to 3.9.
The vinegars led to a 1 to 20 per cent loss of minerals from the teeth after just four hours.
While the experiment was carried out in a lab and the mouth contains saliva which helps neutralise acidity, there’s still evidence that large amounts of vinegar an cause dental erosion.
To minimise the effect apple cider vinegar can have on teeth you can drink it through a straw.