Visceral fat is excess fat that is buried in the abdominal cavity, encasing the internal organs. It isn’t noticeable to the eye, so individuals may appear outwardly lean. People who have a potbelly, however, are more likely to have visceral fat. Fortunately, one food touted for its cholesterol-lowering effects may reduce the fat over a span of 28 days, according to a study.
Visceral fat is notorious because it contributes to the secretion of harmful chemicals in the blood, which induce low-grade inflammation.
This inflammation contributes to the development of atherosclerosis, which can lead to cardiovascular events like heart attack.
Medical advice for tackling the condition typically includes reducing intake of sugary drinks and saturated fat.
But adding certain types of fat to one’s diet may in fact be beneficial.
The authors noted: “Only waist circumference was significantly reduced, with a mean reduction of 2,86 cm [or 0.97 percent] from initial measures.
“Waist circumference reduction was only seen in males. There were no changes in the lipid profile.”
The authors concluded the study with the following statement: “Virgin coconut oil is efficacious for waist circumference reduction especially in males and it is safe for use in humans.”
The findings were later echoed in a body of research, published in the Journal of Lipids in 2009, that coconut oil reduced abdominal fat over a period of 12-weeks.
Over the course of the study, all participants were instructed to follow a balanced diet and walk for 50 minutes per day.
The results revealed that only the group ingesting coconut oil saw reductions in their waist circumference.
This group also saw an increase in HDL cholesterol levels, which helps the body eliminate “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Further investigations into the weight loss effects of coconut oil have attributed the effects to the way medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) are digested by the stomach, which helps boost metabolism and increase energy.