If you have an accumulation of fat around your belly, take notice. The extra weight could be a warning of increased risk of stroke, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and breast or colon cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic. Lose belly fat by cutting calories, exercising regularly and limiting foods associated with abdominal weight gain.
Foods Made from Refined Grains
Food made from refined grains may trigger an accumulation of belly fat. When grains are refined, they go through a process that removes fiber and nutrients and makes them more rapidly digested, which raises their glycemic index. Foods that may contain refined grains include bread products, crackers, cakes, cookies and pasta. To lose belly fat eat whole-grain foods, such as whole oats and brown rice, and foods made from whole grains. To be a true whole-grain product, a whole grain -- such as whole wheat -- must be first on the list of ingredients.
Foods Made with Trans Fats
Trans fat -- an industrially made fat that is added to some fast food, fried food, snack food and commercially made bakery products -- may trigger abdominal weight gain. Trans fat has powerful effects on your body that may lead to Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, weight gain and belly fat, according to an article in "International Journal of Obesity." To avoid trans fat, avoid the types of food that may contain it unless they're labeled otherwise. At restaurants, ask your server or the chef if trans fats are used or avoid deep-fried foods and desserts.
Foods That Contain High-Fructose Corn Syrup
Foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup, an industrially produced sweetener, may cause your waistline to expand. Research at Princeton University found evidence that rats fed HFCS gained more weight than those fed table sugar, and that more of the extra weight accumulated in the abdomen. HFCS is a widely used sweetener that can be found in many foods and drinks, including ketchup, cereal, bread, yogurt, juice, jam and sugary soft drinks. Read labels carefully to avoid this sweetener.
Alcoholic beverages can cause weight gain around your midsection. Although beer is infamous for producing a "beer belly," any type of alcohol in excess can increase belly fat. Some research has found that wine may not have this effect, but more evidence is needed. Drink in moderation to avoid triggering the production of belly fat.
- International Journal of Obesity: Fast Food: Unfriendly and Unhealthy
- The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide: Abdominal Fat and What to Do About It
- News at Princeton: A Sweet Problem: Princeton Researchers Find that High Fructose Corn Syrup Prompts Considerably More Weight Gain
- Mayo Clinic: Belly fat in Women: Taking — and Keeping — it Off
- Belly Fat in Men: Why Weight Loss Matters
- Harvard School of Public Health: Carbohydrates: Good Carbs Guide the Way
- Harvard School of Public Health: Shining the Spotlight on Trans Fats
Gianna Rose is a registered nurse certified in hospice and palliative care, as well as a certified wellness coach. She completed Duke Integrative Medicine's Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course in 2009. Rose also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design.