Flat Belly Diet Reduced Dangerous Visceral Belly Fat

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
Advertisement

The Flat Belly Diet! reduced dangerous visceral belly fat on average by 33% in 28 days, according to a new study by the Yale University Prevention Research Center at Griffin Hospital in Derby, CT. Researchers followed nine overweight women on the plan and tracked their progress using cross-sectional MRI scans and measuring key health markers. The diet was also found to decrease risk factors for heart health such as cholesterol, blood pressure, and inflammation as well as diabetes.

Said Dr. David Katz, MD, adjunct professor of public health and director of the Yale Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine, "This diet study is exceptional because few have used MRI to look at the effects of a particular diet on abdominal fat. It shows the plan not only significantly reduces weight overall, but abdominal fat in particular, including dangerous visceral fat. We also saw impressive reductions in cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammation, and insulin resistance."

Can a diet really target belly fat? Said Katz, "To some degree, yes. Eating fewer calories than you burn will mobilize fat in general. In addition, the kinds of foods prominent in the Flat Belly Diet -- monounsaturated fats, sources of soluble fiber including whole grains, along with fruits, and vegetables -- can help lower insulin and help directly mobilize belly fat."

Advertisement

In April 2008, Prevention commissioned scientists at the Yale University Prevention Research Center to study how the Flat Belly Diet! affects deadly visceral fat. The pilot study results, reported in the current (February) issue of Prevention, found that participants lost an average of 8.4 pounds and close to 2 inches from the waist in 28 days. Total cholesterol dropped an average of 21 points (with a 9-point reduction in unhealthy LDL), bringing lipid measurements down to optimal range for some participants. Results also showed a significant decline in the level of fasting insulin, a marker for diabetes.

"What impressed me was that virtually every measure of health -- from visceral fat to blood pressure to cholesterol -- improved in such a short amount of time. Usually, the longer a study runs, the easier it is to get significant results. But this study produced compelling results in just 28 days," said Katz.

"There is no question that these changes are clinically as well as statistically significant," he added. "If the plan and its associated benefits were sustained over time, these women would be at reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, you name it. Basically, the diet kicked butt -- or, perhaps more appropriately in this case, belly!"

"As much as half of the overall population has too much visceral fat, though many do not know it," said Katz.

Advertisement