Fat is undoubtedly one of the most offensive words — especially for those of us who are blessed with some. We have the ability to avoid mirrors, and we never watch ourselves in shop windows. Our ears can slam shut when they recognize conversations about the hated word, and we accept it as a part of life. However, fat — especially the type called visceral fat — is a serious health risk.
What is visceral fat?
Visceral fat is not the jiggly bits, also known as subcutaneous fat, that you can pinch around your waist. Visceral fat is a more insidious layer that builds up around our organs. It hides deep inside our bodies, forming fat layers around vital organs like stomach, liver and intestines. Too much visceral fat could lead to life-threatening health problems like heart disease, heart attacks and diabetes.
Are you worried about the level of visceral fat you carry?
All is not lost, and there is no need to go on a starvation diet — which is even more dangerous. After all, if you stop eating altogether, you will die! The truth is that you can replace certain fattening foods with more healthy, equally tasty substitutes. Dietitian and founder of Nourish, Jane Clarke has a few suggestions regarding the topic.
Cauliflower is a low-carb, high-fiber and tasty alternative for starchy, traditional rice. It is also high in vitamins, antioxidants and probiotics.
Preparation is easy. In your food processor, blitz or grate fresh cauliflower. Use a bit of olive, grapeseed or coconut oil to pan fry the cauliflower. The result is a nutty taste, which is gorgeous with curries, mixed into salads with raw veggies and fresh herbs.
Also, you can use the grated cauliflower to make yummy, healthy pizza bases.
Combine the cauliflower with Parmesan, mozzarella and eggs to “glue” it together. Add oregano and garlic powder, and spread the mixture in a round on a baking sheet. Bake it as is for 20 minutes, add the toppings and bake for another 10 minutes. Along with limiting the formation of visceral fat, cauliflower stabilizes blood sugars and aids digestion to ensure a healthy gut.
If you love a thick creamy mayonnaise sauce, don’t despair. You can still enjoy it and cut the fat and calorie count by a fifth. How? Mix your full-fat mayonnaise with an equal amount of creamy, thick Greek yogurt. You might enjoy it even more than pure mayonnaise. Moreover, your waistline and your heart will benefit.
Do you automatically reach for the butter when you have a sweet potato roasted in its skin? Here is a healthy, tasty alternative. Make sure you get a delicious, crispy skin, rub grapeseed oil or olive oil onto the sweet potato’s skin before roasting it. Then, remove the mashed sweet potato flesh and mix it with seasonings and Greek yogurt, place it back in the skin. You will not even miss the butter when you enjoy this version of roasted sweet potato.
Instead of putting your sandwich filling between two slices of bread, replace the top slice with extra layers of lettuce.
As you develop more substitutes in your new healthy lifestyle, full-fat Greek yogurt will soon become an essential ingredient. Instead of buying flavored yogurts full of sugar, add your own blueberries, strawberries or raspberries.
Visceral fat conclusion
True words from Jane Clark: Food nourishes your life, not just your body.