Popular Foods That Decrease Visceral Fat, Say Dietitians

Popular Foods That Decrease Visceral Fat, Say Dietitians

Claremont Colonic Center
You know the saying “you are what you eat”? That sentiment could not be more true than with visceral fat. Visceral fat is the type of fat that lives within the abdominal cavity. Meaning, it surrounds our vital organs. This type of fat has been associated with poor health outcomes when compared to subcutaneous fat, the fat that lives directly under our skin.

When we think of weight gain, we typically think of subcutaneous weight gain: meaning, we notice the shape of our body has changed in size. However, visceral fat may actually be more concerning for our health than subcutaneous fat—the type of fat that hugs our thighs, hips, and arms.

Visceral fat can make it challenging for our internal organs to work optimally. For example, increased visceral fat in the liver has been associated with glucose, lipid, and endocrine dysfunction.

Studies show that weight loss alone may not be the best indicator of health, but rather visceral fat loss plays a critical role in our metabolic wellbeing. This means that an increase in visceral fat can impact everything from our hormone health to our cholesterol levels!

And yet, certain foods can directly impact body composition and may play a role in decreasing visceral fat tissue! Let’s dive in, and for even more healthy eating tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

1. Fatty Fish

Fatty fish—like salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel—are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. These particular varieties of fish are high in heart-healthy fats, protein, and Vitamin D!

Anya Rosen, MS, RD, LD, CPT explains that heart-healthy omega-3s in fatty fish have been shown to benefit body fat composition through various mechanisms such as improving insulin sensitivity and combating inflammation.

Fatty fish is also a great source of dietary protein, which boosts metabolic rate and increases levels of fullness hormones such as GLP-1, PYY and cholecystokinin, states Rosen.

2. Coconut oil

This tropical oil gets a bad rep for its high saturated fat content. However, research shows that the specific type of fat in coconut oil, medium-chain triglycerides, can significantly decrease the total amount of fat stored by the body, even in the context of a calorie surplus!

In this case, eating more could actually translate to burning fat!

3. Beans

Beans, beans, they make you… shrink?

One study suggests that eating more beans may help decrease the total accumulation of visceral fat, Nicole Stefanow, MS RDN, a NYC-based dietitian, tells us.

Perhaps, Stefanow hypothesizes, this may be because beans are a great source of prebiotic soluble fiber.

Stefanow explains this mechanism by stating that although soluble fiber cannot be digested by our own bodies, it can be metabolized and turned into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) by the healthy microbes in our gut. Studies have linked SCFAs to a decrease in visceral fat.

4. Yogurt

One study suggests that consistent intake of yogurt decreased the amount of abdominal adipose tissue stored. In other words, the probiotic effect of yogurt was enough to improve body fat in the midsection of the participants who ate yogurt consistently.

Yogurt is particularly balanced in macronutrients and contains a good source of protein. Ashley Larson, RD, tells us that yogurt can improve satiety, helps you stay full longer, and reduces overall calorie intake.

In addition, Larson explains, yogurt contains healthy bacteria, called probiotics, that help to balance your gut bacteria and reduce bloat or other digestive problems. One study showed that those who consistently ate whole-fat yogurt lost more weight and reduced their waist circumference over the course of a year. Larson recommends boosting your nutrition by adding yogurt to your morning smoothie or incorporating it as an afternoon snack to help you lose belly fat. Here are the The 20 Best and Worst Greek Yogurts, According to Dietitians.

5. Eggs

A high protein, low glycemic breakfast may start your day off strong for weight loss! Especially if you are one to lean on high-carb breakfast options like bagels, cereal, or fruit!

This study analyzed the macronutrient composition of the diet. Meaning, they looked at how much protein, fat, and carbs the participants consumed in a day. They found that even without reducing calories, participants lost visceral body fat when swapping a carb for a lower glycemic choice—such as a protein/fat combination.

Eggs are a perfect source of protein and healthy fat to start your day off on the right note. The researchers also noted that you can redistribute body fat, even when the scale doesn’t budge!

As if we needed it, there’s more proof that the scale does not tell the whole story for our health!

Contributor: Caroline Thomason, RDN – Eat This, Not That!

Chronic Stress Can Lead to Higher Blood Pressure: Here

Chronic Stress Can Lead to Higher Blood Pressure: Here’s How to Reduce It

Claremont Colonic Newsletter
Researchers report that chronic stress can increase your risk for heart health issues, such as high blood pressure.

Experts say there are many ways to reduce stress and anxiety, including going to therapy sessions, meeting with friends, and xercising.

They add that it’s best to try to deal with one source of stress at a time.

Is stress relief even realistic right now?
The obvious answer is to reduce stress, right?
Well, yes and no, according to the experts.

“Of course, we know all those stock, physically oriented methods of reducing stress management, like breathing techniques, minding your eating habits, getting plenty of sleep, and exercising,” said Therese Rosenblatt, PhD, the author of “How Are You: Connection in a Virtual Age – A Therapist, a Pandemic, and Stories about Coping with Life.”

“All of these practices are helpful, but when you are in the grip of that extreme, gnawing anxiety that makes life miserable, it can be hard to even initiate those behaviors,” she explained to Healthline.

According to Akua K. Boateng, PhD, a licensed psychotherapist, stress reduction is all about minimizing your body’s need to manage stressors beyond its capacity.

“There will be stressors in the world, yet when we talk about stress reduction, it comes down to attempting to not personalize all of the stressors at the same time,” Boateng told Healthline.

The bottom line is to take the stressors in doses and know when you need to sideline processing others, she said.

Boateng’s tips for managing stress:

  • Create boundaries for stress intake. If you have more psychological stress happening due to work, the COVID-19 pandemic, or holiday gatherings, minimize the need to have the house perfectly cleaned, getting all your work done on time, or remodeling your home during this time.
  • Set up supportive spaces preemptively. Things, such as therapy, a weekly friend check-in, and journaling, allow you to regulate and mentally “de-steam” the energy held in a stressful issue. Give yourself these spaces regularly to avoid mental backup.
  • Deal with one stressor at a time. When you try to handle multiple stressors all at once, it begins to wear on the body. Sometimes, this is inevitable. Other times, it is not. When possible, process one issue and then take time to recover before talking about the next thing.

Don’t demand stress reduction

“Nothing manages stress better than actively doing something about it,” Rosenblatt said.

However, experts warn that, at a certain point, trying to reduce stress can become counterproductive.

“Stress reduction should relieve the energy within the body, not add to it,” Boateng said. “There are times when a small addition of stress can be beneficial (i.e., talking in therapy) but overall you should feel better afterward.”

Boateng’s signs that stress relief is doing more harm than good:

  • Stress reduction becomes a task with rigid guidelines.
  • There are checkpoints of your progress.
  • You engage in self-blame or guilt.

“You can’t just will away stress and anxiety,” Rosenblatt said.

“Remember that it comes from somewhere. That somewhere may be an external threat, like COVID-19, in which case at least a good deal of that stress is absolutely real,” she added.

In dealing with stress, Rosenblatt said it’s best to stay flexible, due to the current climate.

“Decisions we make today, including our personal, social, and work habits, may have to change tomorrow,” she said. “We must accept what we cannot control and direct our energies toward the things we can control. If we assume the mindset that even the near future is unpredictable, we will be better prepared.”

“Or it may come from some internal, more personal or idiosyncratic source, in which case the stress is real to you, and you still have to deal with it,” Rosenblatt noted. “Understanding this enemy is way more effective than fighting it.”

“Remember that our minds and bodies were designed to give us stress signals when we need to pay attention to a real or perceived threat,” she advised. “You may find that, once you accept that you are stressed and you try to identify what exactly it is about it that is getting to you, you will be able to make a plan, either to take action or simply to go easy on yourself.”

Contributor: Healthline.com

Sure Signs You’re Lacking Magnesium, Say Health Experts

Sure Signs You're Lacking Magnesium, Say Health Experts

Check before you experience these unfavorable outcomes.
Claremont Colonic Newsletter
Magnesium is an essential electrolyte, utilized by every cell in the body. But the highly processed foods that comprise the Western diet are low in magnesium, and it’s possible to become deficient. The condition isn’t very common, and it’s been called “the invisible deficiency,” because it’s easy to miss. These are some of the sure signs you’re lacking magnesium, according to experts.

1. Fatigue
According to the Cleveland Clinic, fatigue is one of the most common first signs of magnesium deficiency. Because magnesium’s main role is to convert food into energy, if you lack magnesium, you might find yourself dragging.

2. Weakness
When a person is deficient in magnesium, the potassium levels inside muscle cells decline, a condition called hypokalemia. This lack of potassium can cause muscle weakness, also known as myasthenia.

3. Muscle Spasms
Another important role of magnesium is helping muscles relax after contracting. If you lack adequate magnesium, you might experience muscle cramping or spasms. Magnesium also aids nerve transmission, so a deficiency can even progress to numbness, tingling and seizures, the National Institutes of Health says.

4. Loss of Appetite
According to the National Institutes of Health, loss of appetite is a common early sign of magnesium deficiency. You might also experience nausea or vomiting.

5. High Blood Pressure
Magnesium relaxes blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. If your BP is too high, a magnesium deficiency may be to blame. According to the Mayo Clinic, chronically low levels of magnesium increase the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

6. How Much Magnesium Is Enough?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, adults need 400 mg of magnesium each day. Good sources include leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, avocados and beans. It’s a good idea to check with your doctor if you suspect you have a magnesium deficiency, and before you start taking any kind of supplement.

Contributor: Michael Martin-Eat This, Not That!

How Meditation Can Help You Make Fewer Mistakes

How Meditation Can Help You Make Fewer Mistakes

Meditating just once proves to make a difference
Claremont Colonic Center
If you are forgetful or make mistakes when in a hurry, a new study from Michigan State University — the largest of its kind to-date — found that meditation could help you to become less error prone.
The research, published in Brain Sciences, tested how open monitoring meditation — or, meditation that focuses awareness on feelings, thoughts or sensations as they unfold in one’s mind and body — altered brain activity in a way that suggests increased error recognition.

“People’s interest in meditation and mindfulness is outpacing what science can prove in terms of effects and benefits,” said Jeff Lin, MSU psychology doctoral candidate and study co-author. “But it’s amazing to me that we were able to see how one session of a guided meditation can produce changes to brain activity in non-meditators.”

The findings suggest that different forms of meditation can have different neurocognitive effects and Lin explained that there is little research about how open monitoring meditation impacts error recognition.

“Some forms of meditation have you focus on a single object, commonly your breath, but open monitoring meditation is a bit different,” Lin said. “It has you tune inward and pay attention to everything going on in your mind and body. The goal is to sit quietly and pay close attention to where the mind travels without getting too caught up in the scenery.”

Lin and his MSU co-authors — William Eckerle, Ling Peng and Jason Moser — recruited more than 200 participants to test how open monitoring meditation affected how people detect and respond to errors.

The participants, who had never meditated before, were taken through a 20-minute open monitoring meditation exercise while the researchers measured brain activity through electroencephalography, or EEG. Then, they completed a computerized distraction test.

“The EEG can measure brain activity at the millisecond level, so we got precise measures of neural activity right after mistakes compared to correct responses,” Lin said. “A certain neural signal occurs about half a second after an error called the error positivity, which is linked to conscious error recognition. We found that the strength of this signal is increased in the meditators relative to controls.” While the meditators didn’t have immediate improvements to actual task performance, the researchers’ findings offer a promising window into the potential of sustained meditation.

“These findings are a strong demonstration of what just 20 minutes of meditation can do to enhance the brain’s ability to detect and pay attention to mistakes,” Moser said. “It makes us feel more confident in what mindfulness meditation might really be capable of for performance and daily functioning right there in the moment.”

While meditation and mindfulness have gained mainstream interest in recent years, Lin is among a relatively small group of researchers that take a neuroscientific approach to assessing their psychological and performance effects.

Looking ahead, Lin said that the next phase of research will be to include a broader group of participants, test different forms of meditation and determine whether changes in brain activity can translate to behavioral changes with more long-term practice.

“It’s great to see the public’s enthusiasm for mindfulness, but there’s still plenty of work from a scientific perspective to be done to understand the benefits it can have, and equally importantly, how it actually works,” Lin said. “It’s time we start looking at it through a more rigorous lens.”

Contributor: Science Daily-Michigan State University