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'A weird trick' to burn belly fat? Follow a heart-healthy diet!

Wish you could narrow your waist? Reducing belly fat can lower health risks – but despite things you may have read on the internet, no trending diet can specifically help you get rid of belly fat.

"There is still no miracle food, nutrient or bioactive components that target abdominal obesity," said one researcher. But a heart-healthy diet high in fiber and low in saturated fat is a great way to prevent and reduce belly fat, according to a new article focusing on nutrition.

Although definitions vary, abdominal obesity is defined as a waist circumference of approximately 86 centimeters in women and 101 centimeters in men. Measuring waist circumference is the most common and convenient method of assessing abdominal obesity. Risk of abdominal obesity increases with age, especially in women, and with changes in hormone levels.

Can Diet Help Fight Abdominal Obesity? Today, the internet is full of extravagant claims of “new discoveries” to “reduce belly fat.” Diets touted as reducing abdominal obesity include intermittent fasting, high-protein diets, the "Paleo" diet, and green tea, among many others. But there is a lack of quality evidence on these trending diets, none of which have been shown to be more effective than other types of energy-restricted (less calorie) diets.

The good news is that some nutritional characteristics appear to be helpful in reducing or preventing abdominal obesity, most notably a lower intake of trans and saturated fats and a higher fiber intake. These recommendations are consistent with heart-healthy diets such as the Mediterranean diet.