The omentum is an apron-like flap of tissue in the abdomen, which lies beneath the abdominal muscles and cushions the intestines and intra-abdominal organs. Fat tissue stored within the omentum (visceral fat) hardens and thickens the omentum, and can lead to health risks and disease such as: heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, colon cancer, and premature death. Reducing visceral fat is essential to improving one’s health and minimizing the risks of being overweight or obese.
Exercise regularly. Studies show that visceral fat responds more efficiently to diet and exercise than subcutaneous fat (fat stored just beneath the skin). The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity, five or more days per week. Additionally, strength training exercises should be completed two or more times per week for each muscle group to see health benefits.
Eat a balanced, nutritious diet. To lose weight, the body must expend more energy (calories) than it consumes. The USDA recommends nutrient-dense choices such as whole grains, lean proteins, a variety of fruit and vegetables, and low-fat calcium-rich foods.
Don’t smoke. Smokers are more likely to store fat in the abdomen than non-smokers.
Stay positive. Sufferers of depression and hostility are more at risk for developing increased amounts of visceral fat. Additionally, increased levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, are linked to a build-up of visceral fat even in lean individuals. Utilizing breathing techniques, meditation, yoga, or other forms of stress relief may help one’s emotional health.