Too much visceral fat is linked to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. No wonder it’s a good thing to get rid of the belly fat as fast as possible. Various research studies have pointed out that people who consume “added sugar” tend to have more visceral fat. This is seen in a study conducted by the Department of Molecular Biosciences at the University of California, researchers from Tufts University, and Harvard School of Public Health – just to name a few.
Added sugar – found in candy, cakes, soda, and fruit drinks – contains around 50 percent fructose (a simple sugar), said Healthline.
Scientists at Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine delved into this research area.
In their study, 41 participants had one dietary tweak to see if it would have an impact on visceral fat levels – and it did.
The participants had their fructose consumption replaced with starch, which provided the same amount of calories.
READ MORE: How to lose visceral fat: Follow a ‘good quality’ high-protein diet to reduce belly fat
Dietician Catherine Collins warned: “Whether it’s white, brown, unrefined sugar, molasses or honey, do not kid yourself: there’s no such thing as a healthy sugar.”
So it may come as a surprise, but drizzling honey over your breakfast or dessert isn’t a wise decision.
Any type of added sugar, such as honey and syrup, “should not make up more than five percent of the total energy we get from food and drink each day”.
Sugar can be deceptive, as it’s written as various forms on nutrition labels, so watch out for:
- Corn sugar
- High-fructose glucose syrup
- Maple syrup
- Agave syrup
- Invert sugar
The National Diet and Nutrition Survey revealed the six main sources of added sugar, which are:
- Sugar, preserves and confectionery
- Non-alcoholic drinks
- Biscuits, buns and cakes
- Alcoholic drinks
- Dairy products
- Savoury food
Going into greater depth, the NHS explore the six main sources of added sugar.
Sugar, preserves and confectionery
This includes table sugar, jams, chocolate (as well as chocolate spread) and sweets.
Soft drinks, such as cola and squash cordials, can be high in sugar content; for example, one 500ml bottle of cola contains 17 cubes of sugar.
Seemingly healthy drinks – such as 100 percent unsweetened fruit juice – can be high in sugars too.
Biscuits, buns and cakes
This category also includes pastries, iced cakes, frosted corn flakes and chocolate-coated biscuits.
Alcoholic drinks contain more calories (7kcal/g) than carbohydrates or protein (4kcal/g).
Be wary of flavoured milks, yoghurts, and ice cream, which can all contain added sugars.
Added sugar can be found in stir-fry sauces, ketchup, salad cream, ready meals, marinades, chutney, and crisps.