14 Worst Foods for Belly Fat
Fat in the abdomen has been implicated in heart disease, stroke, and other severe problems, so the best diet is one limiting the specific foods contributing to belly fat.
While it may not be possible to control all such foods, avoiding certain groups will go a long way toward improving your diet and reducing belly fat.
1. Refined grains
Unlike the whole grains in the brown forms of foods, refined grains have been modified from their natural form, dramatically increasing your chances of piling on extra pounds. Common examples of refined grains include white rice, white bread and white pasta.
During refining, grains lose much of their nutritional content because of the removal of germ and bran. This improves the texture, lightens the color and slightly alters the taste.
Coloring or texturizing agents such as bleach and bromine are added, and the finished product is thoroughly mixed to ensure consistency. Texturizing processed grains also makes them more easily assimilated as fat.
A Harvard Medical School research project conducted for over a decade found that participants eating the most refined grains were substantially more likely to gain unwanted weight. Those eating the most whole grains were least likely to develop unsightly belly fat.
In addition to helping control weight, the high levels of germ, bran and other natural nutrients makes whole wheat products clearly superior to their refined counterparts.
Many products are labeled “enriched” because nutrients such as thiamin, iron, riboflavin and niacin are added. However, the nutrients added are only a fraction of what was taken out, and natural grains are usually more nutritious than “enriched” ones. A notable exception is maize, in which refinement increases the bioavailability of niacin.