The #1 Worst Drink That Increases Visceral Fat, Says Dietitian

·2 min read

If you've heard of visceral fat, you may know that it can be a dangerous type of fat to your overall health. But many people still don't fully understand visceral fat or what it actually is.

"Visceral fat is the fat that hangs out around your organs, making it more harmful. Having increased amounts of visceral fat can increase your risk for insulin resistance and thus type 2 diabetes, heart disease, inflammation and more," says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook.

So how do we reduce visceral fat? Well, there isn't just one solution. According to Goodson, "you can reduce it by getting more aerobic exercise, cutting back on added sugars and trans fats in your diet, eating more soluble fiber (think oats, fruits where you can eat the skin, nuts, and seeds), and decreasing chronic stress."

While your diet isn't the number one cause of visceral fat (yes, visceral fat can be genetic) and there aren't specific items you can just cut out to fully avoid it, there are certain foods and drinks that may contribute to visceral fat accumulation more than others.

For example, sugar-sweetened drinks are some of the worst to consume for visceral fat.

Sugar-sweetened beverages and visceral fat

orange soda
orange soda

"When it comes to beverages, one of the worst choices are sugar-sweetened beverages because these provide sugar and calories without any nutritional benefit," says Goodson, "and some studies show that people who eat more added sugar tend to have more visceral fat."

Goodson also adds that these types of beverages often come with large amounts of fructose, which can turn into an issue. "Large intakes of fructose can get turned into fat by the liver, which ultimately could lead to an increase in visceral fat."

RELATED: The #1 Cause of Visceral Fat, According to Science

A better drink for visceral fat

Again, there is no one drink or food item that can get rid of or prevent you from having visceral fat, but we can choose beverages that are lower in sugar and help to promote overall weight and fat loss.

For example, green tea is a healthy choice because of its high content of the antioxidant EGCG, which is known to help with fat loss and metabolism-boosting.

Cutting out sugar-sweetened beverages won't guarantee that you'll decrease your visceral fat, but it will help you manage your overall sugar consumption, which ultimately will help you manage the amount of visceral fat that accumulates.

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