Diet & Weight Loss
These “belly bullies” are most likely to upset your digestive system, throw your gut bacteria out of whack, cause inflammation, and make you pack on the pounds.
This may change the way you look at “good carbs” and “bad carbs” forever. Carb-dense foods can alter the balance of our gut flora, triggering inflammation. Foods are considered carb-dense if they have a high ratio of carb grams relative to their weight. A small potato, which many consider a bad carb, weighs 170 grams, but it’s mostly water; only about 23 percent of it is carbohydrate. A plain rice cake, by contrast, weighs only nine grams, but almost 80 percent of it is carbohydrate!
Found in: Bagels, bread (including whole-grain breads), crackers, pasta, cereals, white rice, pretzels.
Three types of dietary fat are linked to inflammation and thus contribute to excess belly fat: Trans fats, saturated fats, and omega-6 fats. Many different foods that cause belly fat do so because they contain these unhealthy fats.
Found in: Packaged foods (trans fats); processed and high-fat cuts of meat, full-fat dairy, some candy (saturated fat); corn oil, grape-seed oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil (omega-6 fats).
Processed meats are very high in calories and saturated fats. It’s not only bad for your stomach, but it can also lead to heart disease and stroke. “Processed meats are very difficult for many people to digest. They can sit in the intestines for longer because they are difficult to break down,” says Julie Rothenberg, MS, RD, LDN. They don’t contain any fiber, so they aren’t good for digestion.
Found in: Cold cuts, hot dogs, ground meats. Check out some surprising home remedies for belly fat to consider trying.
Fried food tends to overwhelm the stomach, resulting in acid reflux and heartburn. Rothenberg says that fried foods sit in your stomach similarly to processed foods. It takes the body much longer to digest fried foods due to their high fat content, making them foods that cause belly fat.