Of all parts that gain weight, belly fat is the most dangerous one. Excessive belly fat can cause inflammation in your entire body, increasing risk for heart disease, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Here are seven types of foods that are among the worst for causing mid-section weight gain:-
Carbohydrates are found in almost all living things and play a critical role in the proper functioning of the immune system, fertilization, blood clotting, and human development. A deficiency of carbohydrates can lead to impaired functioning of all these systems. However, excessive consumption of carbohydrates can lead to obesity, type II diabetes, and cancer.
Unhealthy high carbohydrate foods include dried fruits, cereals, crackers, cakes, flours, jams, preserves, bread products, and potato products. Try and cut these down to lose some pounds off the belly. Instead opt for these healthy high carbohydrate foods like vegetables, legumes (beans), whole grains, fruits, nuts, and yogurt.
Salt doesn’t contain calories, but too much sodium can make your body retain excess water that adds to weight. Much of this appears around your abdominal area, making you look bloated and flabby. It can also make you feel sluggish and discourage healthy exercise.
Consuming high levels of sodium via salt can leave you looking like you have a fat belly.
Aim to keep sodium intake to less than 2,000 mg per day (1,500 mg if you have high blood pressure).
Excessive salt consumption is also implicated in high blood pressure and heart disease, so controlling your salt intake( by cutting down on the amount of table salt that you add to food) is one of the healthiest dietary decisions .
Found in: – canned and processed foods , readymade meals, pickles, pappad, chutneys
- Sugars (Refined carbohydrates)
The fuel for our brain, glucose, is needed by our body 24 by 7. Glucose is absolutely vital to life; fructose however, is not. Glucose and fructose are metabolized very differently by the body. While every cell in the body can use glucose, the liver is the only organ that can metabolize fructose in significant amounts.
When people eat a diet that is high in calories and high in fructose, the liver gets overloaded and starts turning the fructose into fat which leads to dyslipidemia (fat around the organs) and ultimately, heart disease. Also, this increases blood levels of uric acid, leading to gout and elevated blood pressure.
Fructose doesn’t affect satiety in the same way as glucose, making you eat more total calories automatically if your fructose intake is high. This invariably leads to the dreaded paunch.
- Certain fruits (apples, mangoes, watermelons),
- Certain vegetables (asparagus, sugar snap peas),
- Sweeteners (high-fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, honey).
- Candy bars table sugar, certain pasta sauces, and sweet cereals.
- Baked goods such as donuts, cookies and cakes
- Beverages such as energy drinks and fruit drinks.
Whether you love a good pint of beer, favor hard liquor or indulge in fancy cocktails, almost all alcoholic beverages go right to your belly. The main problem is alcohol must be burned immediately, and this slows down your body’s ability to burn fats and sugars.
Unable to burn these substances fast enough, your metabolism puts them in storage in your waist, buttocks and other problem areas. Further, alcohol contains empty calories, providing you with little to no nutritional benefit. Therefore, if you indulge, try to stick to one or two light beers, or choose drinks with a low calorie mixer such as gin and tonic.
- Fast food
All your favorite cheese burgers, breaded chicken strips, pizzas and French fries count as fast food. Fat plays a vital role as the body’s energy storage medium, and only becomes a health risk when consumed in excessive amounts.
As long as it accounts for 30 percent or less of one’s daily calorie intake, fat poses no problem. Unfortunately, nearly all fast foods contain much more than that. Specifically, fast food is often cooked in fatty oil, prepared using high levels of salt or sugar increasing your likelihood of gaining belly fat and developing a range of heart problems.
These foods tend to be high in calories too. It is clearly not worth the risk of indulging in fast food.
- Any foods containing Trans fats
As with dairy products, you should always scan the labels of the fatty products you buy, and make alternative selections if you see Trans fats or partially hydrogenated oil on the list of ingredients.
These products are used to increase the shelf life of foods. In addition to their role in weight gain, trans fats have been linked to heart disease and strokes due to their tendency to cause heightened cholesterol levels.
Found in: – baked goods, microwaveable popcorn and fried foods.
- Refined grains
Unlike the whole grains in the brown forms of foods, refined grains have been modified from their natural form, thus increasing your chances of piling on extra pounds.
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.
Found in:-white rice, white bread and white pasta.