Most all of us have problem areas or areas of fat accumulation on our bodies that cause us frustration. Belly fat is a common problem area for most people.
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However, the deeper belly fat the visceral fat that accumulates around abdominal organs is metabolically active and has been strongly linked to a host of serious disease risks, including heart disease, cancer, and dementia. Even people of normal weight can accumulate harmful amounts of hidden fat beneath the abdominal wall. Sugar is the worst offender of belly fat. Added sugars can significantly increase the calorie content of foods which leads to weight gain.
A high sugar diet can also lead to insulin resistance. This is when your body`s ability to recognize insulin is impaired which can lead to elevated blood sugar levels. High amounts of circulating insulin can cause symptoms of increased appetite and can lead to visceral fat accumulation in our abdomen. To avoid accidentally purchasing unhealthy snacks with high sugar content, such as desserts, candy bars, and the like, be sure to read the nutrition labels on the back of the package.
High in carbs and often loaded with sugar, baked goods are another treat to limit. A study on different types of bakery products and their effects on visceral fat in a healthy population of 120 people showed a positive correlation between baked goods and increased abdominal fat. Those in the study who chose whole-grain options had less visceral fat gain than white-baked good. Because of the high sugar and fat content of most baked goods, they tend to have high calories and low amounts of nutrients.
These complex carbs contain more grams of fiber that can help with satiety and a flatter belly. Like baked goods, fries are high in carbs. They are also high in unhealthy fats and sodium, as with most fried foods cooked in a lot of oil. This combination is a deadly one for those looking to cut down on their belly fat.
These fried potatoes, along with potato chips also contain acrylamide, a compound that forms naturally from chemical reactions to starches in certain foods during cooking. Crackers and potato chips made the cut as foods to avoid due to their highly processed nature. A common culprit to weight gain, they are high in carbs and unhealthy fats with little essential nutrients or anything that might promote satiety. These foods are a good source of fiber and when combined with at least 5-10 grams of protein they will satisfy your appetite more than chips or crackers would.
Often loaded with massive amounts of carbs, white bread and pasta can contribute to overall body fat if eaten frequently. Swap your refined carbs for complex carbohydrates such as whole grains. Whole grains contain more dietary fiber than refined, which can contribute to heart health and improve our metabolism. By adding in more of these healthy foods in place of highly processed or refined grains, our body can function at its best for fat burning.
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