Visceral fat can build-up around internal organs, leading to adverse health consequences. To help keep levels of the harmful belly fat to a minimum, research has shown how cooking with one certain type of oil can do just that.
Studies reveal coconut oil is a great alternative to other oils when cooking, as it can lower the amount of visceral fat stored in your body.
One way to measure levels of visceral fat is to take out a measuring tape to record your waist and hip measurements.
Do note, to measure your waist correctly, the waistline is considered to be in line with your belly button.
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This means that the tape measure should wrap around your body at the same level as your belly button the whole way round.
To record hip measurements accurately, place the tape measure at the widest part of your bum.
Next, divide the waist by hip measurement with a calculator.
For men, the World Health Organisation (WHO) state if the waist to hip ratio is more than one, there’s a high health risk of developing deadly diseases.
It suggests men should have a waist to hip ratio of 0.95 or lower to dramatically reduce health risks.
For women, a measurement above 0.86 is also high risk. WHO recommend women to have a waist to hip ratio of 0.80 and below.
To illustrate the benefits of coconut oil, one study showed how medically obese men lost an average of 1.1 inches off their waists without altering their diet or exercise routine – aside from consuming coconut oil everyday for 12 weeks.
Additionally, coconut oil tends to have a longer shelf life than some other fats, and is a great replacement for butter or vegetable oil.
As it’s solid at room temperature, coconut oil can be used when frying foods, greasing baking pans and can is useful in when baking.
Research has also shown that coconut oil is made up of medium-chain fatty acids, which may boost metabolism as well as a host of other health benefits.
Furthermore, coconut oil is less likely to stored in the body as (visceral) fat and is more readily available to be used as a source of energy.
Visceral fat is different from the wobbly bits of skin you can grab hold of. That type of fat is called subcutaneous fat.
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It’s stored directly under the skin and is considered less dangerous than visceral fat in medical circles.
Bupa – a British international healthcare provider – has stated that high levels of visceral fat is linked to a number of serious health problems. These include:
- Heart and circulatory problems
- High blood pressure and stroke
- Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
- Bowel cancer
- Sleep apnoea
The organisation provides information on whether somebody should aim to lose weight or not.
It recommends men who have a waist measurement of 37 inches (94cm) or more to protect their health by losing weight.
It also recommends women who have a waist measurement of 31.5 inches (80cm) or more to also try to lose weight for the same reason.
To lose weight, and reduce harmful belly fat, you’ll need to burn more calories than you consume.
As coconut oil is high in calories, it’s important to use it as a replacement of other fats (for example, butter) to help reduce levels of visceral fat.
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