Not all fat is the same. There is the subcutaneous one, which is located under the skin, and the visceral one, which is instead found in the abdominal cavity, beyond the abdominal muscles and around the internal organs. The latter fat is the most dangerous, it increases inflammation and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, visceral fat is also the toughest and most difficult to fight. Thanks to the research we are talking about today, however, we will understand that moderate physical activity and an exceptional food, black garlic, can help us in the fight against visceral fat. This emerges from two scientific studies, the first very recent published in the journal Nutrition and Food Science (Fajrani et al, Nutrition and Food Science, 2021), the second appeared a few years ago in the journal Obesity (Hunter et al, Obesity, 2010) .
Physical activity prevents the increase of visceral fat
The study published in Obesity has shown the importance of physical exercise in maintaining body weight and in combating visceral fat. Scientists recruited 200 women between the ages of 21 and 46, all of whom were overweight. The volunteers followed an active diet and lifestyle in order to lose the excess pounds. At the end of this period, the study participants underwent tests to assess the amount of total, subcutaneous and visceral fat. Subsequently, the volunteers were divided into three groups. The first group was asked to carry out an aerobic physical activity, then brisk walking, running, swimming or cycling, for 40 minutes twice a week for a year. The second group was asked to do a workout in the gym that included squats, leg extension, triceps extension and lower back extension for 40 minutes twice a week for a year. The third group has suspended all activities. After one year, body fat distribution was re-evaluated. Well, what emerged was that the group that had continued to perform physical activity, despite having a modest weight gain, showed a 0% increase in visceral fat. Instead, those who stopped exercising had increased visceral fat by 33%. The modest weight gain observed in the group that had continued physical exercise can be explained by the fact that, according to the guidelines, to prevent weight gain you should ensure at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day and not 40 minutes twice a week.
Black garlic reduces visceral fat
The second study observed the action of black garlic on visceral fat. Black garlic is a product obtained from garlic subjected to a fermentation process. As a result of fermentation, garlic partially loses its allicin content, the active ingredient that gives it a pungent odor, and increases antioxidants. The experiment showed that taking supplements containing black garlic is able to counteract the effects of a high-fat diet. In fact, even if the body weight did not change, visceral fat decreased significantly, with an action that was the more effective the higher the dose administered. Not only that, black garlic was also able to counteract oxidative stress by acting as an antioxidant.