The Best Fats for Your Belly
Heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats have been found in research to help shrink belly fat. They also can help cut stress levels and reduce stress hormones, further reducing belly fat.
Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce belly fat
Omega-3 fatty acids are a powerful fat with many anti-inflammatory properties. They not only promote health, but they also have been shown to impact belly fat in a positive way. In addition, studies have shown that eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can actually keep the stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) from peaking.
Imagine, for example, that you’re faced with a stressful situation. Your boss comes to you at 2 p.m. with a major project that needs to be completed and turned in before the end of the day. Realizing that this task is next to impossible, you start feeling stressed. The more stressed you feel, the more your body releases stress hormones.
These same hormones love filling up the fat cells in your belly.
However, if your diet is rich in omega-3s, these stress hormones will be released, but they won’t peak as high as they would otherwise. As a result, you have fewer stress hormones circulating in your body and, therefore, fewer stress hormones to store belly fat.
Monounsaturated fats reduce belly fat
Monounsaturated fats are the fats found in many plant-based foods, such as olive oil, peanuts, and avocado. Although you may hear the word “fat” and think it’s something damaging to your weight loss efforts, nothing is further from the truth. Actually, monounsaturated fats are powerful belly fat fighters.
A Spanish study published in Diabetes Care, an American Diabetes Association journal, found a very real connection between monounsaturated fats and a reduction in belly fat. The study looked at individuals with excessive belly fat and placed them on three different types of calorie-reduced diets: a diet high in saturated fat, a diet rich in monounsaturated fats, and a diet rich in carbohydrates.
Only the individuals in the group consuming a diet rich in monounsaturated fats were found to have a reduction in belly fat accumulation. And the best part was they were found to lose both subcutaneous and visceral belly fat!