Many foods and nutrients can be powerful belly-fat fighters, helping to shrink and slim your waistline. However, there are just as many, if not more foods and nutrients that can bloat your belly and pack on belly fat. And these foods don’t all work in the same way. Some of these foods are weighed down with Trans fats and simple sugars, which can trigger your body to store excess belly fat, expanding your waistline over time. Others can increase gas production in your stomach and intestines, causing your abdomen to look and feel distended. Even though this condition is temporary, it can still be an uncomfortable feeling. Uncontrolled intake of foods high in sugar can cause several health conditions. Some of these foods include the following.
- SUGAR ALCOHOLS: Sugar alcohols are sugar substitutes that can only be partially digested by the body. They are found in sugar-free foods such as gums, candies and snack foods like sugar free cookies. Because these nutrients are only partially digested, they provide fewer calories per gram than regular sugar. However, because sugar alcohols are only partially digested, they can cause gastrointestinal side effects such as bloating, gas, and diarrhoea. And when that happens, all the gas and bloat caused by these alcohols leads to your stomach looking distended. To prevent this, you’re better off avoiding sugar alcohols completely or consuming them in limited quantities.
- SOFT DRINKS: You may call it soda or minerals, or even tonic, but whatever name it goes by in your neck of the woods, consuming large quantities can really bloat your tummy. These drinks contain carbonation, which draws gas into the stomach and intestines, causing distention of the abdomen for an instant belly bloat, and the belly expanding. The impact of soft drinks can be permanent. Another reason is Sugar. Soft drinks, depending on the variety contain sugar in some form, whether it can be corn syrup, cane juice, or another liquid sweetener. Regardless of the form the sugar comes in, it has the same impact on the belly: it increases it! The high sugar content of soft drinks instantly raises blood sugar levels, which leads to a spike in insulin. This sends a signal to your body to begin storing excess sugar as fat in the most convenient location, your belly! Diet soft drinks aren’t always a better solution either. They still contain belly bloating carbonation. The artificial sweeteners in them act as foreign chemicals in the body, which triggers inflammation and this can lead to several diseases. If you love carbonated drinks, your best bet is a naturally flavoured seltzer, but nothing beats a glass or water- you can even flavour it with lemon or lime juice.
- ICE CREAM: We all crave and scream for ice cream, but do you know what screams after you indulge in this frozen treat? Your waistline! Ice cream can bloat your belly in a few ways. It’s rich in sugar, which triggers an increase in blood sugar followed by an increase in insulin levels, which promotes an increase in fat storage in your midsection. Ice cream is made from cow milk which contains lactose. If you have an intolerance to lactose, you can have difficulty in digesting and absorbing it. Food that are very hot or cold can cause stress in the gastrointestinal tract, leading to cramping and bloating.
Before you feel too disappointed about the belly bloating abilities of ice cream, remember that it’s okay to enjoy this treat on occasion only. When you do choose to have ice cream, take it in moderation.
- PASTRIES: It’s easy to look into a bakery window and start drooling over the delicious options displayed in front of you. But think about these words Trans fats, lard, enriched flour, sugar, corn syrup. Many of these words make up the main ingredients in commercial pastries. This means that you may be taking in a large amount of inflammation producing nutrients if you indulge in pastries on a regular basis. And because inflammation packs on the belly fat, eat too many pastries and watch your waistline expand. You don’t need to stop taking pastries, but you need to focus on moderation. Reserve them for special occasions or an occasional treat.