Vinit works as a sales executive for a marketing firm and his job often finds him pulling late nights. He makes it a point to hit the gym at least three times a week. So, Vinit was really surprised to see a slight belly bulge develop. He realised his diet was out of control and no amount of exercise would help unless he started to eat healthy.
Like Vinit, many people who live and work in cities often fail to maintain a healthy diet. Fast food forms a staple part of a hectic routine. No matter the tags such as ‘low-fat’, ‘zero cholesterol’, and ‘zero trans-fats’, some of these foods can still adversely affect your health as they are chemically produced. A diet that is heavily dependent on processed foods can cause many healthy complications such as digestive disorders, thyroid problems, and cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, a diet based on junk food also affects your physical appearance, leading to unsightly acne, hair loss, and belly fat. Here are the top 10 popular foods that are known to cause belly fat.
Sodas provide empty calories that lead to bloating and weight gain around the abdomen. The sugars in aerated beverages cause a sharp spike in your body insulin levels. Regular consumption of sodas can lead to diabetes, thyroid problems, and digestive disorders. This is definitely the first you should strike off your list.
Studies have shown that consuming artificial sweeteners regularly leads to belly fat. Artificial sweeteners contain ingredients that harm the healthy bacteria in your gut. Apart from belly fat, artificial sweeteners are linked to a multitude of health problems including high blood pressure and obesity.
An excessive consumption of milk can lead to many health issues like thyroid problems. Switching from full-fat to low-fat milk doesn’t help much. Reserve your consumption of milk products to the occasional yoghurt, butter, and cheese servings. Milkshakes, ice cream and milk chocolate are harmful to your thyroid and digestion as the high content of sugar and dairy can cause serious insulin problems.
Red wine, brandy, and certain alcoholic beverages are known for their medicinal properties. However, when consumed in excess alcohol can cause severe health complications including liver inflammation, diabetes, and brain stroke. Consuming alcohol daily also causes weight gain around the abdomen which is commonly known as ‘beer belly’.
Fruit juice may sound like a healthy alternative to coffee and yet it is a major source of unwanted sugar in your body. Processed fruit juices are an absolute no-no as they contain chemicals and sugar. Limit your intake of fresh fruit juice to just twice or thrice a week. Fruit juice contains fructose which – if consumed in excess – can cause insulin imbalance and thyroid problems.
Salt makes your body retain more water than it normally should. If you consume salted nuts, chips, pickles, biscuits, namkeen, papad, and similar processed foods daily, chances are you are exposing your gut to more salt than it can digest. A diet high in salt leads to belly fat, swollen feet, and thyroid problems.
Most bakery products are high in trans fats. Trans fats are added to processed foods to increase their shelf life. Bread, packaged cakes, and biscuits are high in sugars and trans fats which cause belly fat. Instant mix cake preparations also fall in this list. If you love bakery goods, try to find a homemade supplier of biscuits and bread. Homemade products often contain zero trans-fats and need to be consumed immediately.
Like bakery products, frozen snacks are high in trans fats. Living a fast-paced life, most of our diet depends on ready-made foods which need to be popped in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Nuggets, frozen parathas, frozen gravies, French fries, samosas, fish fingers, and many similar treats need to be struck off your daily diet.
This one has definitely taken you by surprise. A serving of salad along with your meals is the way to eat right. However, eating only fruits and salads all day long leads to a build-up of gastric problems over time. If you crash diet by eating only salads, you may lose weight but will definitely notice a belly bulge.
Processed meats such as sausages, salami, luncheon meat, ham, and fish fingers are processed with trans fats and preservatives to increase their shelf life. Additionally, these foods contain too much salt to add to their taste. Processed meats should be reserved as an occasional treat and must not form a part of your daily diet.
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