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Many types of bacteria can grow on animal products, so it’s important to safely handle and store all types of meat. However, the different rules for handling different types of meat can be confusing. It may be perfectly safe to eat some meat a week after it was prepared or to freeze it for later. Other types should be thrown away after only a few days.
Safety issues are associated with everything you may eat. A healthy kitchen depends on your knowledge of safe cooking and storage practices.
Never buy meat that’s past the expiration or sell-by date. Also, buy meats at the store after you’ve found all your other items to decrease the time the meat is out of refrigeration.
Follow these specific guidelines when selecting certain meats:
Avoid any beef or pork that’s dark brown or discolored, has a strong odor, or feels tough or slimy.
Avoid any poultry that looks faded, has a strong odor, or feels tough or slimy.
Avoid any fish that’s faded or discolored, has squishy or slimy flesh, and has a strong fishy or ammonia-like odor.
Avoid any meat that’s in damaged, leaking, or torn packages, as it’s likely been exposed to the air and harmful bacteria.
Wash your hands frequently when preparing any type of meat, fish, or poultry. Bacteria can quickly spread between your hands and meat. Always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling meat, whether it’s raw or cooked.
Because bacteria can spread easily, prepare the meat on a surface that’s separate from all other cooking materials. Keep vegetables and other ingredients away from meat, especially if you aren’t cooking them together in the same dish.
Try to use separate cutting boards, clean all cooking utensils after they touch raw meat, and use different utensils to serve food after you’ve prepared it.
Uncured, raw meat generally lasts safely for around three days in the refrigerator. If you plan to keep uncooked meat longer, freezing it is your best bet. Seal the meat in an airtight package before freezing. Then, it can usually be frozen for at least several months.
Safe freezing and refrigeration time also depends on the storage temperature. Keep your freezer as close to 0°F (-17.8°C) as possible. This helps retain nutrients and keep food fresh. Keep your refrigerator at around 34°F (1.1°C), just above freezing, to effectively prolong the shelf life of foods.
Below are general guidelines for how long basic meats can be kept safely if they’re stored properly.
Type of meat Safe storage times (in the refrigerator) Safe storage times (in the freezer)
uncooked poultry 1–2 days 9 months (pieces) to 1 year (whole)
uncooked ground meat 1–2 days 3–4 months
uncooked steaks or chops 3–4 days 4–12 months, depending on the item
uncooked fish 1–2 days 6 months
cooked poultry, meat, or fish 3–4 days 2–6 months
hot dogs and lunch meat up to 1 week (open package) or 2 weeks (closed package) 1–2 months
Cooking temperature and food safety
Cooking temperature affects both the taste and safety of food.
The rare to well-done spectrum refers to the temperature at the center of the meat, which is best checked using a meat thermometer. These can be found at kitchen supply stores and in most grocery stores. Typical cooking temperatures are:
rare: 120–125°F (48.9–51.7°C)
medium: 140–145°F (60–62.8°C)
well-done: 165°F (73.9°C) or higher
From a safety perspective, hotter temperatures at the center of the meat are safer. However, safe cooking temperatures vary for different types of meat.
Safe cooking temperatures for different meats are:
Poultry: 165°F (73.9°C) for whole or ground poultry. Poultry should never be eaten rare. Undercooked poultry can spread salmonella and other diseases. You should always cook it thoroughly.
Ground meats: 160°F (71.1°C) for ground meats such as beef, pork, and lamb. While whole cuts of meat typically have most bacteria on their surfaces, ground meats may have bacteria mixed throughout. Therefore, they must be cooked to a higher temperature than whole cuts of meat.
Whole meat: 145°F (62.8°C), and the meat should be allowed to rest for at least three minutes before eating. The resting time gives the heat more time to kill any bacteria.
Pork should always be cooked to at least the high end of medium because it can carry potentially dangerous worms and parasites.
Beef has a wider safety range, but lovers of rare meat are safer sticking to steaks, roasts, and chops.
Fin fish: 145°F (62.8°C) or until the flesh is opaque and separates easily.
An open wound is an injury involving an external or internal break in body tissue, usually involving the skin. Nearly everyone will experience an open wound at some point in their life. Most open wounds are minor and can be treated at home.
Falls, accidents with sharp objects or tools, and car accidents are the most common causes of open wounds. In the case of a serious accident, call 911 or seek immediate medical attention, particularly if there’s a lot of bleeding or if bleeding lasts for more than 20 minutes.
Open wound can also occur due to lack of certain vitamin and electrolyte imbalance. Like when you are not eating enough fruits and vegetable or not drinking enough water or drinks
There are five types of open wounds, which are classified depending on their cause.
An abrasion occurs when the skin rubs or scrapes against a rough or hard surface. Road rash is an example of an abrasion. There’s usually not a lot of bleeding, but the wound needs to be scrubbed and cleaned to avoid infection.
A laceration is a deep cut or tearing of the skin. Accidents with knives, tools, and machinery are frequent causes of lacerations. In the case of deep lacerations, the bleeding can be rapid and extensive.
A puncture is a small hole caused by a long, pointy object, such as a nail, needle, or ice pick. Sometimes, a bullet can cause a puncture wound. Punctures may not bleed much, but these wounds can be deep enough to damage internal organs. If you have a puncture wound (even just a small one), visit your doctor to get a tetanus booster shot and prevent infection.
An avulsion is a partial or complete tearing away of skin and the tissue beneath. Avulsions usually occur during violent accidents, such as body-crushing accidents, explosions, and gunshots. They bleed heavily and rapidly.
Cracks a those wound you can observe due to some vitamin deficiencies or lack of adequate fluid intake. You can see these cracks at the back-base of your finger nails and at the back of your feet.
Home care for minor wounds
Minor wounds can be treated at home. First, wash and disinfect the wound to remove all dirt and debris. Use direct pressure and elevation to control bleeding and swelling. When wrapping the wound, always use a sterile dressing or bandage. (Very minor wounds may heal fine without a bandage.) You’ll need to keep the wound clean and dry for five days. You should also make sure you get plenty of rest. Eat enough fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of water and juices, live an active life to help in blood circulation to the extremities
Pain typically accompanies a wound. You can take acetaminophen(Tylenol) as directed on the package. Avoid aspirin products, since they can cause or prolong bleeding. Apply ice if you have bruising or swelling, and avoid picking at scabs. If you’re spending time outdoors in the sun, use sun protection factor (SPF) 30 sunscreen over the area until it’s completely healed.
When to see a doctor
Although you can treat some wounds at home, you should see a doctor if:
- an open wound is deeper than 1/2 inch
- the bleeding does not stop with direct pressure
- the bleeding lasts longer than 20 minutes
- the bleeding is the result of a serious accident
Your doctor may use different techniques to treat your open wound. After cleaning and possibly numbing the area with anesthetic, your doctor may close the wound using skin glue, sutures, or stitches. You may receive a tetanus booster shot if you have a puncture wound. Depending upon where your wound is located and the potential for infection, your doctor may elect to not close the wound and let it heal naturally. This is known as “healing by secondary intention,” meaning from the base of the wound to the superficial epidermis. This process may require you to pack your wound with gauze. Although the healing may not be cosmetically appealing, it prevents infection of the wound and the formation of abscesses.
Other treatments for an open wound include pain medication and penicillin. Your doctor may also prescribe penicillin or another antibiotic if there’s an infection or high risk for developing an infection. In some cases, surgery might be needed. If a body part is severed, it should be brought to the hospital for possible reattachment. Wrap the body part in moist gauze and pack it in ice.
Cracks can be treated with doctor prescribing vitamins like Vitamin c, multivitamin, B.complex may or may not give IV fluid depending on the extent of dehydration
When you leave the doctor’s office, you might have bandages and dressings. It’s important to always wash your hands and work on a clean surface when changing bandages and dressings. Disinfect and dry the wound thoroughly before dressing it again. Dispose of old dressings and bandages in plastic bags.
The main complication of an open wound is the risk of infection. Call your doctor immediately if you’ve had a puncture, deep laceration, or serious accident and you’re showing signs of significant bleeding (hemorrhage) or infection. Signs of hemorrhage include continuous bleeding that does not respond to holding direct pressure. You may have an infection if the wound shows:
- an increase in drainage
- thick green, yellow, or brown pus
- pus with a foul odor
Other signs of infection include having:
- a fever of over 100.4°F for more than four hours
- a tender lump in your groin or armpit
- a wound that isn’t healing
Your doctor will drain or debride the wound and often prescribe an antibiotic if infection from bacteria develops. In serious cases, surgery may be required to remove infected tissue and sometimes the surrounding tissue as well.
Conditions that can develop from an open wound include the following.
- Lockjaw is caused by an infection from the bacteria that cause tetanus. Lockjaw can cause muscle contractions in the jaw and neck.
- A necrotizing soft tissue infection (gas gangrene) can develop. This is a severe infection caused by a variety of bacteria including Clostridium and Streptococcus that can lead to tissue loss and sepsis (a systemic infection).
- Cellulitis, an infection of the skin that is not in immediate contact with the wound.
Whether you have a minor or a more serious open wound, it’s important to take quick action. Some open wounds can be treated at home, but this isn’t always the case. You need medical attention if you have a deep cut or if you’re bleeding a lot. This ensures you receive the most appropriate treatment and reduces your risk of complications and infection.
All they care about is profit and they seem willing to sacrifice even children’s health for their own monetary gain.
Here are the top 11 biggest lies of the junk food industry.
1. Low-Fat or Fat-Free
One of the side effects of the “war” on fat was a plethora of processed products with reduced amounts of fat.
These products typically have labels saying “low-fat,” “reduced fat” or “fat-free.”
The problem is that most of these products are not healthy at all.
Foods that have had the fat removed from them typically do not taste as good as the full-fat versions. Few people want to eat them.
For this reason, food producers load these products with added sugar and other additives (1).
It is now known that fat has been unfairly demonized while growing evidence has been revealing the dangers of added sugar.
What this means is that “low-fat” foods are usually much worse than their “regular” counterparts.
If a product has the words “low-fat” or anything similar on the label, it probably contains added sweeteners. Keep in mind that these processed foods are not necessarily a healthy choice.
2. Trans Fat-Free
Processed foods often have “trans fat-free” on the label. This doesn’t necessarily have to be true.
As long as a product contains fewer than 0.5 grams of trans fats per serving, they are allowed to put this on the label (2).
Make sure to check the ingredients list. If the word “hydrogenated” appears anywhere on the label, then it contains trans fats.
It’s actually not uncommon to find hydrogenated fats in products that are labeled trans fat-free.
Avoid everything that contains the word “hydrogenated.” Food products labeled trans fat-free may actually contain up to 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.
3. Includes Whole Grains
Over the past few decades, consumers have been led to believe that whole grains are among the healthiest foods they can eat.
I agree 100% that whole grains are better than refined grains, although there is no evidence that eating whole grains is healthier than no grains at all.
That said, processed foods like cereals often claim to include whole grains. The problem is that whole grains aren’t always “whole.” The grains have been pulverized into very fine flour (3, 4).
They may contain all the ingredients from the grain, but the resistance to quick digestion is lost and these grains might spike your blood sugar just as fast as their refined counterparts (5).
Plus, even if a product has small amounts of whole grains in it, chances are that it contains a ton of other very harmful ingredients like sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.
Most processed food products containing whole grains aren’t really “whole” — they’ve been pulverized into very fine flour and spike blood sugar levels just as fast as their refined counterparts.
Eating a gluten-free diet is very trendy these days.
Around 1.5% of Americans are currently eating gluten-free or actively trying to restrict gluten. One-third of those haven’t been diagnosed with celiac disease (6).
Just so we’re clear, I fully support a gluten-free diet. There is evidence that in addition to full-blown celiac disease, a proportion of people may be sensitive to gluten or wheat.
However, processed products labeled as “gluten-free” and made to replace gluten-containing foods are generally not healthy. They are also much more expensive (7).
These foods are usually made from highly refined, high-glycemic starches, like corn starch, potato starch, and tapioca starch, and may also be loaded with sugar.
Eating gluten-free should be about ditching the refined cereals and replacing them with real, whole foods.
So-called “gluten-free” products are often loaded with unhealthy ingredients. Avoid them and eat real food instead.
5. Hidden Sugar
Unfortunately, most people don’t read ingredient lists before making a purchase.
But even for those who do, food manufacturers still have ways of disguising the true contents of their products (8).
On ingredient lists, the components are listed in descending order by amount. If you see sugar in the first few spots, then you know that the product is loaded with sugar.
However, food manufacturers often put different types of sugar in their products. A food may contain sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and evaporated cane juice, which are all different names for the exact same thing — sugar.
This way, they can have some other, healthier-sounding ingredient as number one on the list. Nevertheless, if you were to add up the amounts of these three different types of sugar, sugar would be at the top.
This is a clever way to mask the true amount of refined sugar in processed foods.
Here’s an article on the 56 most common names for sugar.
Make sure to check whether a product contains more than one type of sugar. If that’s the case, sugar may really be among the top ingredients.
6. Calories per Serving
The real calorie and sugar content of products are often hidden by saying that the product is more than one serving.
For example, a manufacturer can decide that a chocolate bar or soda bottle is two servings, even though most people don’t stop until they have finished the whole thing.
Food producers can use this to their advantage by saying their products contain only a certain amount of calories per serving.
When reading labels, check the number of servings the product contains. If it contains two servings and there are 200 calories per serving, then the entire thing is 400 calories.
For example, a 24-ounce (.7-liter) bottle of cola may contain 100 calories and 27 grams of sugar per serving. If the entire bottle contains three servings, the total amount is 300 calories and 81 grams of sugar.
I don’t know about you, but back in my cola-drinking days, I could easily down 24 ounces (or more) in one sitting.
Make sure to check the number of servings on a label. Multiply the total sugar and calorie content by the number of servings to find the true total amount.
Many processed foods have a flavor that sounds natural.
For example, orange-flavored Vitaminwater tastes like oranges. However, there are no actual oranges in there.
The sweet taste is coming from sugar and the orange flavor is coming from artificial chemicals.
Just because a product has the flavor of real food doesn’t mean that any of it is actually in there. Blueberry, strawberry, orange, etc. — these are often just chemicals designed to taste like the real thing.
Just because a product has the taste of some natural food does not mean that there is even the slightest trace of that food in the product.
8. Small Amounts of Healthy Ingredients
Processed products often list small amounts of ingredients that are commonly considered healthy.
This is purely a marketing trick. Usually, the amounts of these nutrients are negligible and do nothing to make up for the harmful effects of the other ingredients.
This way, clever marketers can fool parents into thinking they’re making healthy choices for themselves and their children.
Some examples of ingredients often added in tiny amounts and then displayed prominently on the packaging are omega-3s, antioxidants and whole grains.
Food manufacturers often put small amounts of healthy ingredients in their products to fool people into thinking that the products are healthy.
9. Hiding Controversial Ingredients
Many people claim to have adverse reactions to certain food ingredients and therefore choose to avoid them.
However, food manufacturers often hide these controversial ingredients by referring to them with technical names that people don’t know.
For example, in Europe MSG (monosodium glutamate) may be called E621 and carrageenan may be called E407.
The same can be said for many types of sugar, such as “evaporated cane juice” — it sounds natural, but it’s really just sugar.
Food manufacturers often hide the fact that their products contain controversial ingredients by calling them something else.
10. Low-Carb Junk Foods
Low-carb diets have been pretty popular for the past few decades.
Food manufacturers have caught up on the trend and started offered a variety of low-carb products.
The problem with these foods is the same as with the “low-fat” foods — that they’re not necessarily healthy.
These are usually processed junk foods filled with unhealthy ingredients. Look at the ingredients list for products like Atkins low-carb bars. This isn’t food!
There are also examples of low-carb loaves of bread and other replacement products that contain many more carbs than the label claims.
“Low-carb” products are often highly processed and made with very unhealthy ingredients.
11. “Organic” Unhealthy Ingredients
Although organic food can have some benefits, many food manufacturers use the word “organic” to mislead people.
For example, when you see “raw organic cane sugar” on an ingredient list, this is basically the exact same thing as regular table sugar.
Just because something is organic does not mean that it is healthy.
Many foods contain unhealthy ingredients that happen to be organic. This does not mean that they are any healthier than their non-organic counterparts.
The Bottom Line
Of course, it is best to just limit processed foods altogether and eat real, whole foods instead. That way, you don’t have to worry about labels and ingredient lists.
Real food doesn’t even need an ingredients list. Real food IS the ingredient.
Drop comment below if this article helps you in any way
20 Effective Tips to Lose Belly Fat (Backed by Science)
Belly fat is more than just a nuisance that makes your clothes feel tight.
Fat inside the belly area is also termed visceral fat, and it is seriously harmful.
This type of fat is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes and h
Many health organizations use BMI (body mass index) to classify weight and predict the risk of metabolic disease. However, this is misleading.
People with excess belly fat are at an increased risk, even if they look thin on the outside (2).
Although losing fat from this area can be difficult, there are several things you can do to reduce excess abdominal fat.
1. Eat Plenty of Soluble Fiber
Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel that helps slow down food as it passes through your digestive system.
Studies show this type of fiber promotes weight loss by helping you feel full so you naturally eat less. It may also decrease the number of calories your body absorbs from food (3, 4, 5).
What’s more, soluble fiber may help fight belly fat. An observational study of over 1100 adults found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber intake, belly fat gain decreased by 3.7% over a 5-year period (6).
Make an effort to consume high-fiber foods every day. Excellent sources of soluble fiber include flaxseeds, shirataki noodles, Brussels sprouts, avocados, legumes, and blackberries.
2. Avoid Foods That Contain Trans Fats
Trans fats are created by pumping hydrogen into unsaturated fats such as soybean oil.
They’re found in some kinds of margarine and spreads, and they’re also added to some packaged foods.
These fats have been linked to inflammation, heart disease, insulin resistance and abdominal fat gain in observational and animal studies (7, 8, 9).
A 6-year study found that monkeys who ate a high-trans-fat diet gained 33% more abdominal fat than monkeys that ate a diet high in monounsaturated fat (10).
To help reduce belly fat and protect your health, read ingredient labels carefully and stay away from products that contain trans fats. These are often listed as “partially hydrogenated” fats.
3. Don’t Drink Too Much Alcohol
Alcohol can have health benefits in small amounts, but it is seriously harmful if you drink too much.
Research suggests too much alcohol can also make you gain belly fat.
Observational studies link heavy alcohol consumption with significantly increased risk of central obesity — that is, excess fat storage around the waist (11, 12).
Cutting back on alcohol may help reduce your waist size. You don’t need to give it up altogether if you enjoy it, but limiting the amount you drink in a single day can help.
In a study of more than 2000 people, those who drank alcohol daily but averaged less than one drink per day had less belly fat than those who drank less frequently but consumed more alcohol on the days they did drink (12).
4. Eat a High-Protein Diet
Protein is an extremely important nutrient for weight control.
High protein intake increases the release of the fullness hormone PYY, which decreases appetite and promotes fullness. Protein also raises your metabolic rate and helps you retain muscle mass during weight loss (13, 14, 15).
Many observational studies show that people who eat more protein tend to have less abdominal fat than those who eat a lower-protein diet (16, 17, 18).
Be sure to include a good protein source at every meal, such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy, whey protein or nuts.
5. Reduce Your Stress Levels
Stress can make you gain belly fat by triggering the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone.”
Research shows high cortisol levels increase appetite and drive abdominal fat storage (19, 20).
What’s more, women who already have a large waist tend to produce more cortisol in response to stress. Increased cortisol further adds to fat gain around the middle (21).
To help reduce belly fat, engage in pleasurable activities that relieve stress. Practicing yoga or meditation can be effective methods.
6. Don’t Eat a Lot of Sugary Foods
Sugar contains fructose, which has been linked to several chronic diseases when consumed in excess.
These include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and fatty liver disease (22, 23, 24).
Observational studies show a relationship between high sugar intake and increased abdominal fat (25, 26).
It’s important to realize that more than just refined sugar can lead to belly fat gain. Even “healthier” sugars (such as real honey) should be used sparingly.
7. Do Aerobic Exercise (Cardio)
Aerobic exercise (cardio) is an effective way to improve health and burn calories.
Studies also show it is one of the most effective forms of exercise for reducing belly fat. However, results are mixed regarding whether moderate-intensity or high-intensity exercise is more beneficial (27, 28, 29).
Regardless of intensity, how often and how much you exercise is important. One study found postmenopausal women lost more fat from all areas when they did aerobic exercise for 300 minutes per week versus 150 minutes per week (30).
8. Cut Back on Carbs, Especially Refined Carbs
Reducing carb intake can be very beneficial for losing fat, including abdominal fat.
Diets with under 50 grams of carbs per day cause belly fat loss in overweight people, those at risk of type 2 diabetes and women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) (31, 32, 33).
You don’t have to follow a strict low-carb diet. Some research suggests that simply replacing refined carbs with unprocessed starchy carbs may improve metabolic health and reduce belly fat (34, 35).
In the famous Framingham Heart Study, people with the highest consumption of whole grains were 17% less likely to have excess abdominal fat than those who consumed diets high in refined grains (36).
9. Replace Some of Your Cooking Fats With Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is one of the healthiest fats you can eat.
Studies show that the medium-chain fats in coconut oil may boost metabolism and decrease the amount of fat you store in response to high-calorie intake (37, 38).
Controlled studies suggest it may also lead to the abdominal fat loss.
In one study, obese men who took coconut oil daily for 12 weeks lost an average of 1.1 inches (2.86 cm) from their waists without intentionally changing their diets or exercise routines (39, 40).
To boost belly fat loss, it’s best to take about 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of coconut oil per day, which is the amount used in most of the studies reporting good results.
However, keep in mind that coconut oil is still high in calories. Instead of adding extra fat to your diet, replace some of the fats you are already eating with coconut oil.
10. Perform Resistance Training (Lift Weights)
Resistance training, also known as weight lifting or strength training, is important for preserving and gaining muscle mass.
Based on studies in people with prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and fatty liver disease, resistance training may also be beneficial for belly fat loss (41, 42).
In fact, one study in overweight teenagers showed that a combination of strength training and aerobic exercise led to the greatest decrease in visceral fat (43).
If you decide to start weightlifting, it is a good idea to get advice from a certified personal trainer.
11. Avoid Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
Sugar-sweetened beverages are loaded with liquid fructose, which can make you gain belly fat.
Studies show that sugary drinks lead to increased fat in the liver. One 10-week study showed a significant abdominal fat gain in people who consumed beverages high in fructose (44, 45, 46).
Sugary beverages appear to be even worse than high-sugar foods. Because your brain doesn’t process liquid calories the same way it does solid ones, you’re likely to end up consuming too many calories later on and storing them as fat (47, 48).
To lose belly fat, it’s best to completely avoid sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda, punch and sweet tea, as well as alcoholic mixers containing sugar.Drink Red tea to get your abdomen back to shape.
Watch this video and hear what others say.
12. Get Plenty of Restful Sleep
Sleep is important for many aspects of health, including your weight. Studies show that people who don’t get enough sleep tend to gain more weight, which may include belly fat (49, 50).
A 16-year study of more than 68,000 women found those who slept less than 5 hours per night were significantly more likely to gain weight than those who slept 7 hours or more per night (51).
The condition known as sleep apnea, where breathing actually stops intermittently during the night, has also been linked to excess visceral fat (52).
In addition to sleeping at least 7 hours per night, make sure you’re getting sufficient quality sleep.
If you suspect you may have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, speak to a doctor and get treated.
13. Track Your Food Intake and Exercise
Many things can help you lose weight and belly fat, but consuming fewer calories than your body needs for weight maintenance is key (53).
Keeping a food diary or using an online food tracker or app can help you monitor your calorie intake. This strategy has been shown to be beneficial for weight loss (54, 55).
In addition, food-tracking tools help you see your intake of protein, carbs, fiber, and micronutrients. Many also allow you to record your exercise and physical activity.
14. Eat Fatty Fish Every Week
Fatty fish are incredibly healthy.
They are rich in quality protein and omega-3 fats that protect you from disease (56, 57).
Some evidence also suggests that these omega-3 fats may help reduce visceral fat.
Studies in adults and children with fatty liver disease show fish oil supplements can significantly reduce liver and abdominal fat (58, 59, 60).
Aim to get 2-3 servings of fatty fish per week. Good choices include salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel, and anchovies.
Thanks for going through to the end. Do you have any question? or comment? drop it down below and I will get back to you.
Acne is a common skin condition that affects nearly 10% of the world’s population (1).
Many factors contribute to the development of acne, including sebum and keratin production, acne-causing bacteria, hormones, blocked pores and inflammation (2).
The link between diet and acne has been controversial, but recent research shows that diet can play a significant role in acne development (3).
This article will review 7 foods that can cause acne and discuss why the quality of your diet is important.
Foods rich in refined carbohydrates include:
- Bread, crackers, cereal or desserts made with white flour
- Pasta made with white flour
- White rice and rice noodles
- Sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages
- Sweeteners like cane sugar, maple syrup, honey or agave
One study found that people who frequently consumed added sugars had a 30% greater risk of developing acne, while those who regularly ate pastries and cakes had a 20% greater risk (6).
This increased risk may be explained by the effects refined carbohydrates have on blood sugar and insulin levels.
Refined carbohydrates are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, which rapidly raises blood sugar levels. When blood sugars rise, insulin levels also rise to help shuttle the blood sugars out of the bloodstream and into your cells.
However, high levels of insulin are not good for those with acne.
Insulin makes androgen hormones more active and increases insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). This contributes to acne development by making skin cells grow more quickly and by boosting sebum production (7, 8, 9).
While the research on this topic is promising, more is needed to further understand how refined carbohydrates contribute to acne.
SUMMARYEating lots of refined carbohydrates may increase blood sugar and insulin levels and contribute to the development of acne. However, more research is needed.
However, the studies conducted so far have not been high-quality.
The research to date has focused mainly on teenagers and young adults and has only shown a correlation between milk and acne, not a cause and effect relationship.
It is not yet clear how milk may contribute to the formation of acne, but there are several proposed theories.
Although there is speculation on why drinking milk may worsen acne, it is unclear whether dairy plays a direct role. More research is needed to determine if there is a specific amount or type of dairy that may aggravate acne.
SUMMARYFrequently consuming dairy products is linked to increased acne severity, but it is uncertain whether there is a cause and effect relationship.
Fast food items, such as burgers, nuggets, hot dogs, french fries, sodas and milkshakes, are mainstays of a typical Western diet and may increase acne risk.
One study of over 5,000 Chinese teenagers and young adults found that high-fat diets were associated with a 43% increased risk of developing acne. Regularly eating fast food increased the risk by 17% (27).
A separate study of 2,300 Turkish men found that frequently eating burgers or sausages was linked to a 24% increased risk of developing acne (6).
It is unclear why eating fast food may increase the risk of developing acne, but some researchers propose that it may affect gene expression and alter hormone levels in a way that promotes acne development (28, 29, 30).
However, it is important to note that most of the research on fast food and acne has used self-reported data. This type of research only shows patterns of dietary habits and acne risk and does not prove that fast food causes acne. Thus, more research is needed.
SUMMARYRegularly eating fast food has been correlated with an increased risk of developing acne, but it is not clear whether it causes acne.
While the links between omega-6 fatty acids and acne are promising, there have been no randomized controlled studies on this topic, and more research is needed.
SUMMARYDiets rich in omega-6 fatty acids and low in omega-3s are pro-inflammatory and may worsen acne, though more research is needed.
Chocolate has been a suspected acne trigger since the 1920s, but so far, no consensus has been reached (37).
A more recent study found that acne-prone males who consumed 25 grams of 99% dark chocolate daily had an increased number of acne lesions after just two weeks (40).
Another study found that males who were given capsules of 100% cocoa powder daily had significantly more acne lesions after one week compared to those given a placebo (41).
Exactly why chocolate might increase acne is unclear, although one study found that eating chocolate increased the reactivity of the immune system to acne-causing bacteria, which may help explain these findings (42).
While recent research supports a link between chocolate consumption and acne, it remains unclear whether chocolate actually causes acne.
SUMMARYEmerging research supports a link between eating chocolate and developing acne, but the reasons why and strength of the relationship remain unclear.
Another study found a direct correlation between acne severity and the number of days on whey protein supplements (53).
These studies support a link between whey protein and acne, but much more research is needed to determine whether whey protein causes acne.
SUMMARYA small amount of data suggests a link between taking whey protein powder and developing acne, but more high-quality research is needed.
This is supported by the fact that anti-inflammatory drugs, like corticosteroids, are effective treatments for severe acne and that people with acne have elevated levels of inflammatory molecules in their blood (56, 57, 58).
One way that food may contribute to inflammation is through food sensitivities, also known as delayed hypersensitivity reactions (59).
Food sensitivities occur when your immune system mistakenly identifies food as a threat and launches an immune attack against it (60).
This results in high levels of pro-inflammatory molecules circulating throughout the body, which may aggravate acne (61).
Since there are countless foods that your immune system could react to, the best way to figure out your unique triggers is by completing an elimination diet under the supervision of a registered dietitian or nutrition specialist.
Elimination diets work by temporarily restricting the number of foods in your diet in order to eliminate triggers and achieve symptom relief, then systematically adding foods back while tracking your symptoms and looking for patterns.
Food sensitivity testing, such as Mediator Release Testing (MRT), can help determine which foods lead to immune-related inflammation and provide a clearer starting point for your elimination diet (62).
While there appears to be a link between inflammation and acne, no studies have directly investigated the specific role of food sensitivities in its development.
This remains a promising area of research to help better understand how food, the immune system and inflammation affect acne development (63).
SUMMARYFood sensitivity reactions can increase the amount of inflammation in the body, which theoretically may worsen acne. However, no studies to date have been conducted on the topic.
While the foods discussed above may contribute to the development of acne, there are other foods and nutrients that may help keep your skin clear. These include:
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory, and regular consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of developing acne (64, 65,66).
- Probiotics: Probiotics promote a healthy gut and balanced microbiome, which is linked to reduced inflammation and a lower risk of acne development (67,68, 69, 70).
- Green tea: Green tea contains polyphenols that are associated with reduced inflammation and lowered sebum production. Green tea extracts have been found to reduce acne severity when applied to the skin (71, 72, 73, 74).
- Turmeric: Turmeric contains the anti-inflammatory polyphenol curcumin, which can help regulate blood sugar, improve insulin sensitivity and inhibit the growth of acne-causing bacteria, which may reduce acne (75, 76).
- Vitamins A, D, E and zinc: These nutrients play crucial roles in skin and immune health and have been found to prevent acne (77, 78, 79).
- Paleolithic-style diets: Paleo diets are rich in lean meats, fruits, vegetables and nuts and low in grains, dairy and legumes. They have been associated with lower blood sugar and insulin levels (80).
- Mediterranean-style diets: A Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grain, legumes, fish and olive oil and low in dairy and saturated fats. It has also been linked to reduced acne severity (81).
SUMMARYConsuming a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, green tea, fruits and vegetables may be protective against the development of acne. Vitamins A, D and E, as well as zinc, have also been linked to preventing acne.
While research has linked certain foods to an increased risk of developing acne, it is important to keep the bigger picture in mind.
Overall dietary patterns are likely to have a larger impact on skin health than eating — or not eating — any one particular food.
It is probably not necessary to completely avoid all the foods that have been linked to acne but rather consume them in balance with the other nutrient-dense foods discussed above.
The research on diet and acne is not strong enough to make specific dietary recommendations at this time, but future research is promising.
In the meantime, it may be beneficial to keep a food log to look for patterns between the foods you are eating and the health of your skin.
You can also work with a registered dietitian for more personalized advice.
Not all calories are created equal.
Different foods go through different metabolic pathways in the body.
They can have vastly different effects on hunger, hormones and how many calories we burn.
Here are the 20 most weight loss-friendly foods on earth, that are supported by science.
Once feared for being high in cholesterol, whole eggs have been making acomeback.
What’s more… they are among the best foods you can eat if you need to lose weight.
They’re high in protein, healthy fats, and can make you feel full with a very low amount of calories.
Another 8 week study found that eggs for breakfast increased weight loss on a calorie restricted diet compared to bagels (4).
Eggs are also incredibly nutrient dense and can help you get all the nutrients you need on a calorie restricted diet. Almost all the nutrients are found in the yolks.
Leafy greens include kale, spinach, collards, swiss chards and a few others.
They have several properties that make them perfect for a weight loss diet.
They are low in both calories and carbohydrates, but loaded with fiber.
Eating leafy greens is a great way to increase the volume of your meals, without increasing the calories. Numerous studies show that meals and diets with a low energy density make people eat fewer calories overall (5).
Leafy greens are also incredibly nutritious and very high in all sorts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. This includes calcium, which has been shown to aid fat burning in some studies (6).
Oily fish like salmon is incredibly healthy.
It is also very satisfying, keeping you full for many hours with relatively few calories.
Salmon is loaded with high quality protein, healthy fats and also contains all sorts of important nutrients.Fish, and seafood in general, supplies a significant amount of iodine.
This nutrient is necessary for proper function of the thyroid, which is important to keep the metabolism running optimally (7).
Studies show that a huge number of people in the world aren’t getting all the iodine they need (8).
Mackerel, trout, sardines, herring and other types of oily fish are also excellent.
Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts.
Like other vegetables, they are high in fiber and tend to be incredibly fulfilling.
What’s more… these types of veggies also tend to contain decent amounts of protein.
They’re not as high in protein as animal foods or legumes, but they’re high compared to most vegetables.
A combination of protein, fiber and low energy density makes cruciferous vegetables the perfect foods to include in your meals if you need to lose weight.
They are also highly nutritious, and contain cancer fighting substances (11).
Meat has been unfairly demonized.
It has been blamed for all sorts of health problems, despite no good evidence to back it up.
The truth is… meat is a weight loss-friendly food, because it’s high in protein.
Studies have shown that increasing your protein intake to 25-30% of calories can cut cravings by 60%, reduce desire for late-night snacking by half, and cause weight loss of almost a pound per week… just by adding protein to the diet (19, 20).
White potatoes seem to have fallen out of favour for some reason.
However… they have several properties that make them a perfect food, both for weight loss and optimal health.
They contain an incredibly diverse range of nutrients, a little bit of almost everything we need.
There have even been accounts of people living on nothing but potatoes alone for extended periods of time.
They are particularly high in potassium, a nutrient that most people don’t get enough of and plays an important role in blood pressure control.
What this means is that by eating white, boiled potatoes, you will naturally feel full and eat less of other foods instead.
If you boil the potatoes, then allow them to cool for a while, then they will form large amounts of resistant starch, a fiber-like substance that has been shown to have all sorts of health benefits… including weight loss (22).
Sweet potatoes, turnips and other root vegetables are also excellent.
Tuna is another low-calorie, high protein food.
It is lean fish… so there isn’t much fat in it.
Tuna is popular among bodybuilders and fitness models who are on a cut, because it’s a great way to keep protein high, with total calories and fat low.
If you’re trying to emphasize protein intake, then make sure to choose tuna canned in water, but not oil.
This includes lentils, black beans, kidney beans and some others.
These foods tend to be high in protein and fiber, which are two nutrients that have been shown to lead to satiety.
They also tend to contain some resistant starch.
The main problem is that a lot of people have problem tolerating legumes. For this reason, it is important to prepare them properly.
As mentioned above, meals and diets with a low energy density tend to make people eat fewer calories.
Most foods with a low energy density are those that contain lots of water, such as vegetables and fruits.
But you can also just add water to your food… by making a soup.
Dairy products tend to be high in protein.
One of the best ones is cottage cheese… calorie for calorie, it is mostly just protein with very little carbohydrate and fat.
Eating plenty of cottage cheese is a great way to boost your protein intake. It is also very satiating, making you feel full with a relatively low amount of calories.
Avocados are a unique type of fruit.
Whereas most fruit is high in carbs, avocados are loaded with healthy fats.They are particularly high in monounsaturated oleic acid, the same type of fat found in olive oil.
Despite being mostly fat, they also contain a lot of water, so they aren’t as energy dense as you may think.
Avocados are perfect as additions to salad, because studies show that the fats in them can increase the nutrient uptake from the vegetables 2.6 to 15-fold (25).
They also contain many important nutrients, including fiber and potassium.
Apple cider vinegar is incredibly popular in the natural health community.
It is popular for use in condiments, like dressings or vinaigrettes. Some people even dilute it in water and drink it.
Several studies in humans suggest that vinegar can be useful for weight loss.
One study in obese individuals also showed that 15 or 30 mL of vinegar per day for 12 weeks caused weight loss of 2.6-3.7 pounds, or 1.2-1.7 kilograms (28).
Despite being high in fat, nuts are not inherently fattening.
They’re an excellent snack, containing balanced amounts of protein, fiber and healthy fats.
Population studies have also shown that people who eat nuts tend to be healthier, and leaner, than the people who don’t (33).
Just make sure not to go overboard, as they are still pretty high in calories. If you tend to binge and eat massive amounts of nuts, then it may be best to avoid them.
Despite grains having gotten a bad rap in recent years, there are some types that are definitely healthy.
This includes some whole grains that are loaded with fiber and contain a decent amount of protein as well.
Notable examples include oats, brown rice and quinoa.
Rice, both brown and white, can also contain significant amounts of resistant starch, especially if cooked and then allowed to cool afterwards (36).
Keep in mind that refined grains are a disaster, and sometimes foods that have “whole grains” on the label are highly processed junk foods that are both harmful and fattening.
If you’re on a very low-carb diet then you’ll want to avoid grains, because they are high in carbohydrates. But there’s nothing wrong with eating some of the healthier grains if you can tolerate them and are not on a low-carb diet.
Eating chili peppers may be useful on a weight loss diet.
This substance is even sold in supplement form and is a common ingredient in many commercial weight loss supplements.
One study showed that eating 1 gram of red chilli pepper reduced appetite and increased fat burning in people who didn’t regularly eat peppers (40).
However, there was no effect in people who were accustomed to eating spicy food, indicating that some sort of tolerance can build up.
Most health experts agree that fruit is healthy.
Of course… correlation does not equal causation, so those studies don’t proveanything, but fruit do have properties that make them weight loss-friendly.
Even though they contain sugar, they have a low energy density and take a while to chew. Plus, the fiber helps prevent the sugar from being released too quickly into the bloodstream.
For the rest of us, fruits can be an effective (and delicious) addition to a weight loss diet.
One fruit that deserves to be highlighted is grapefruit, because its effects on weight control have been studied directly.
In a study of 91 obese individuals, eating half a fresh grapefruit before meals caused weight loss of 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg) over a period of 12 weeks (43).The grapefruit group also had reductions in insulin resistance, a metabolic abnormality that is implicated in various chronic diseases.
So… eating half a grapefruit about a half hour before some of your daily meals may help you feel more satiated and eat fewer overall calories.
Chia seeds are among the most nutritious foods on the planet.
They do contain 12 grams of carbohydrate per ounce, which is pretty high, but 11 of those grams are fiber.
Because of all the fiber, chia seeds can absorb up to 11-12 times their weight in water, turning gel-like and expanding in your stomach (45).
However, given their nutrient composition, it makes sense that chia seeds could be a useful part of a weight loss diet.
Not all fats are created equal.
Coconut oil is high in fatty acids of a medium length, called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs).These fatty acids have been shown to boost satiety compared to other fats, as well as increase the amount of calories burned (48, 49).
Of course… coconut oil still contains calories, so adding it on top of what you’re already eating is a bad idea.
So this is not about adding coconut oil to your diet, it is about replacing some of your other cooking fats with coconut oil.
Extra virgin olive oil is also worth mentioning here, because it is probably the healthiest fat on the planet.
Another excellent dairy food is yogurt.
yogurt contains probiotic bacteria that can improve the function of your gut.
Having a healthy gut may potentially help protect against inflammation and leptin resistance, which is the main hormonal driver of obesity.
Just make sure to choose full-fat yogurt… studies show that full-fat dairy, but not low-fat, is associated with a reduced risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes over time (52).
Low-fat yogurt is usually loaded with sugar, so it is best to avoid that stuff like the plague.
Excess belly fat is extremely unhealthy.
It’s a risk factor for diseases like metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer (1).
The medical term for unhealthy fat in the belly is “visceral fat,” which refers to fat surrounding the liver and other organs in your abdomen.
Even normal-weight people with excess belly fat have an increased risk of health problems (2).
Here are 12 things that make you gain belly fat.
Many people take in more sugar every day than they realize.
High-sugar foods include cakes and candies, along with so-called “healthier” choices like muffins and frozen yogurt. Soda, flavored coffee drinks and sweet tea are among the most popular sugar-sweetened beverages.
Both regular sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are high in fructose. Regular sugar has 50% fructose and high-fructose corn syrup has 55% fructose.
In a controlled 10-week study, overweight and obese people who consumed 25% of calories as fructose-sweetened beverages on a weight-maintaining diet experienced a decrease in insulin sensitivity and an increase in belly fat (6).
Although too much sugar in any form may lead to weight gain, sugar-sweetened beverages may be especially problematic. Sodas and other sweet drinks make it easy to consume large doses of sugar in a very short period of time.
What’s more, studies have shown that liquid calories don’t have the same effects on appetite as calories from solid foods. When you drink your calories, it doesn’t make you feel full so you don’t compensate by eating less of other foods instead (8, 9).
BOTTOM LINE:Frequently consuming foods and beverages high in sugar or high-fructose corn syrup may cause belly fat gain.
Alcohol can have both healthful and harmful effects.
However, high alcohol intake may lead to inflammation, liver disease and other health problems (11).
Some studies have shown that alcohol suppresses fat burning and that excess calories from alcohol are partly stored as belly fat — hence the term “beer belly” (12).
Studies have linked high alcohol intake to weight gain around the middle. One study found that men who consumed more than three drinks per day were 80% more likely to have excess belly fat than men who consumed less alcohol (13, 14).
The quantity of alcohol consumed within a 24-hour period also appears to play a role.
In another study, daily drinkers who consumed less than one drink per day tended to have the least abdominal fat, while those who drank less often but consumed four or more drinks on “drinking days” were most likely to have excess belly fat (15).
BOTTOM LINE:Heavy alcohol consumption increases risk of several diseases and is linked to excess belly fat.
Trans fats are the unhealthiest fats on the planet.
They’re created by adding hydrogen to unsaturated fats in order to make them more stable.
Trans fats are often used to extend the shelf lives of packaged foods, such as muffins, baking mixes and crackers.
At the end of a 6-year study, monkeys fed an 8% trans fat diet gained weight and had 33% more abdominal fat than monkeys fed an 8% monounsaturated fat diet, despite both groups receiving just enough calories to maintain their weight (21).
BOTTOM LINE:Trans fats increase inflammation that may drive insulin resistance and the accumulation of belly fat.
A sedentary lifestyle is one of the biggest risk factors for poor health (22).
Over the past few decades, people have generally become less active. This has likely played a role in the rising rates of obesity, including abdominal obesity.
A major survey from 1988-2010 in the US found that there was a significant increase in inactivity, weight and abdominal girth in men and women (23).
Another observational study compared women who watched more than three hours of TV per day to those who watched less than one hour per day.
The group that watched more TV had almost twice the risk of “severe abdominal obesity” compared to the group that watched less TV (24).
One study also suggests that inactivity contributes to the regain of belly fat after losing weight.
In this study, researchers reported that people who performed resistance or aerobic exercise for 1 year after losing weight were able to prevent abdominal fat regain, while those who did not exercise had a 25–38% increase in belly fat (25).
BOTTOM LINE:Inactivity may promote an increase in belly fat. Resistance and aerobic exercise may prevent abdominal fat regain after weight loss.
Getting adequate dietary protein is one of the most important factors in preventing weight gain.
In contrast, low protein intake may cause you to gain belly fat over the long term.
In addition, animal studies have found that a hormone known as neuropeptide Y (NPY) leads to increased appetite and promotes belly fat gain. Your levels of NPY increase when your protein intake is low (31, 32, 33).
BOTTOM LINE:Low protein intake may drive hunger and belly fat gain. It may also increase the hunger hormone neuropeptide Y.
Gaining belly fat during menopause is extremely common.
At puberty, the hormone estrogen signals the body to begin storing fat on the hips and thighs in preparation for a potential pregnancy. This subcutaneous fat isn’t harmful, although it can be extremely difficult to lose in some cases (34).
Menopause officially occurs one year after a woman has her last menstrual period.
Some women gain more belly fat at this time than others. This may partly be due to genetics, as well as the age at which menopause starts. One study found that women who complete menopause at a younger age tend to gain less abdominal fat (37).
BOTTOM LINE:Hormonal changes at menopause result in a shift in fat storage from the hips and thighs to visceral fat in the abdomen.
Hundreds of types of bacteria live in your gut, mainly in your colon. Some of these bacteria benefit health, while others can cause problems.
The bacteria in your gut are also known as your gut flora or microbiome. Gut healthis important for maintaining a healthy immune system and avoiding disease.
An imbalance in gut bacteria increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other diseases (38).
There’s also some research suggesting that having an unhealthy balance of gut bacteria may promote weight gain, including abdominal fat.
Researchers have found that obese people tend to have greater numbers ofFirmicutes bacteria than people of normal weight. Studies suggest that these types of bacteria may increase the amount of calories that are absorbed from food (39,40).
One animal study found that bacteria-free mice gained significantly more fat when they received fecal transplants of bacteria associated with obesity, compared with mice that received bacteria linked to leanness (40).
Studies on lean and obese twins and their mothers have confirmed that there is a common “core” of shared flora among families that may influence weight gain, including where the weight is stored (41).
BOTTOM LINE:Having an imbalance of gut bacteria may cause weight gain, including belly fat.
Fruit juice is a sugary beverage in disguise.
Even unsweetened 100% fruit juice contains a lot of sugar.
Although fruit juice provides some vitamins and minerals, the fructose it contains can drive insulin resistance and promote belly fat gain (45).
BOTTOM LINE:Fruit juice is a high-sugar beverage that can promote insulin resistance and belly fat gain if you drink too much of it.
Cortisol is a hormone that’s essential for survival.
It’s produced by the adrenal glands and is known as a “stress hormone” because it helps your body to mount a stress response.
Unfortunately, it can lead to weight gain when produced in excess, especially in the abdominal region.
Interestingly, women who have large waists in proportion to their hips have been found to secrete more cortisol when stressed (48).
BOTTOM LINE:The hormone cortisol, which is secreted in response to stress, may lead to increased abdominal fat. This is particularly true in women with higher waist-to-hip ratios.
Fiber is incredibly important for good health and controlling your weight.
In an observational study of 1,114 men and women, soluble fiber intake was associated with reduced abdominal fat. For each 10-gram increase in soluble fiber there was a 3.7% decrease in belly fat accumulation (51).
BOTTOM LINE:A diet that is low in fiber and high in refined grains may lead to increased amounts of belly fat.
Genes play a major role in obesity risk (55).
In 2014, researchers identified three new genes associated with increased waist-to-hip ratio and abdominal obesity, including two that were found only in women (59).
However, much more research needs to be conducted in this area.
BOTTOM LINE:Genes appear to play a role in high waist-to-hip ratios and storage of excess calories as belly fat.
Getting enough sleep is crucial for your health.
One large study followed over 68,000 women for 16 years.
Those who slept 5 hours or less per night were 32% more likely to gain 32 lbs (15 kg) than those who slept at least 7 hours (63).
Sleep disorders may also lead to weight gain. One of the most common disorders, sleep apnea, is a condition in which breathing stops repeatedly during the night due to soft tissue in the throat blocking the airway.
In one study, researchers found that obese men with sleep apnea had more abdominal fat than obese men without the disorder (64).
BOTTOM LINE:Short sleep or poor-quality sleep may lead to weight gain, including belly fat accumulation.
6 Simple Ways to Lose Belly Fat, Based on Science
Overweight does not necessarily equal unhealthy.
There are actually plenty of overweight people who are in excellent health (1).
That’s because the fat under the skin is actually not that big of a problem (at least not from a health standpoint, it’s more of a cosmetic problem).
It’s the fat in the abdominal cavity, the belly fat, that causes the biggest issues (3).
If you have a lot of excess fat around your waistline, even if you’re not very heavy, then you should take some steps to get rid of it.
Belly fat is usually estimated by measuring the circumference around your waist. This can easily be done at home with a simple tape measure.
Anything above 40 inches (102 cm) in men and 35 inches (88 cm) in women, is known as abdominal obesity.
There are actually a few proven strategies that have been shown to target the fat in the belly area more than other areas of the body.
Here are 6 evidence-based ways to lose belly fat.
Added sugar is very unhealthy.
Studies show that it has uniquely harmful effects on metabolic health (4).
When you eat a lot of refined sugar, the liver gets overloaded with fructose, and is forced to turn it all into fat (6).
Liquid sugar is even worse in this regard. Liquid calories don’t get “registered” by the brain in the same way as solid calories, so when you drink sugar-sweetened beverages, you end up eating more total calories (9, 10).
Studies show that sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to a 60% increased risk of obesity in children, per each daily serving (11).
Make a decision to minimize the amount of sugar in your diet, and consider completely eliminating sugary drinks.
This includes sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juices and various high-sugar sports drinks.
Keep in mind that none of this applies to whole fruit, which are extremely healthy and have plenty of fiber that mitigates the negative effects of fructose.
The amount of fructose you get from fruit is negligible compared to what you get from a diet high in refined sugar.
If you want to cut back on refined sugar, then you must start reading labels. Even foods marketed as health foods can contain huge amounts of sugar.
BOTTOM LINE:Excess sugar consumption may be the primary driver of belly fat accumulation, especially sugary beverages like soft drinks.
If weight loss is your goal, then adding protein is perhaps the single most effective change you can do to your diet.
There is also some evidence that protein is particularly effective against belly fat.
One study showed that the amount and quality of protein consumed was inversely related to fat in the belly. That is, people who ate more and better protein had much less belly fat (19).
Another study in Denmark showed that protein was linked to significantly reduced risk of belly fat gain over a period of 5 years (20).
This study also showed that refined carbs and oils were linked to increased amounts of belly fat, but fruits and vegetables linked to reduced amounts.
Many of the studies showing protein to be effective had protein at 25-30% of calories. That’s what you should aim for.
So make an effort to increase your intake of high-protein foods such as whole eggs, fish, seafood, legumes, nuts, meat, dairy products and some whole grains. These are the best protein sources in the diet.
If you struggle with getting enough protein in your diet, then a quality protein supplement (like whey protein) is a healthy and convenient way to boost your total intake.
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, then check out this article on how to increase your protein intake.
BOTTOM LINE:Eating enough protein is a very effective way to lose weight. Some studies suggest that protein is particularly effective against belly fat accumulation.
Carb restriction is a very effective way to lose fat.
This is supported by numerous studies. When people cut carbs, their appetite goes down and they lose weight (23).
This is true even when the low-carb groups are allowed to eat as much as they want, while the low-fat groups are calorie restricted and hungry.
Low-carb diets also lead to quick reductions in water weight, which gives people near instant results. A major difference on the scale is often seen within a few days.
What this means is that a particularly high proportion of the fat lost on a low-carb diet is the dangerous and disease promoting abdominal fat.
Just avoiding the refined carbs (white breads, pastas, etc) should be sufficient, especially if you keep your protein high.
However, if you need to lose weight fast, then consider dropping your carbs down to 50 grams per day. This will put your body into ketosis, killing your appetite and making your body start burning primarily fats for fuel.
BOTTOM LINE:Studies have shown that low-carb diets are particularly effective at getting rid of the fat in the belly area, around the organs and in the liver.
Dietary fiber is mostly indigestible plant matter.
It is often claimed that eating plenty of fiber can help with weight loss.
This is true, but it’s important to keep in mind that not all fiber is created equal.
It seems to be mostly the soluble and viscous fibers that have an effect on your weight.
These are fibers that bind water and form a thick gel that “sits” in the gut (31).
This gel can dramatically slow the movement of food through your stomach and small bowel, and slow down the digestion and absorption of nutrients. The end result is a prolonged feeling of fullness and reduced appetite (32).
One review study found that an additional 14 grams of fiber per day were linked to a 10% decrease in calorie intake and weight loss of 2 kg (4.5 lbs) over 4 months (33).
In one 5-year study, eating 10 grams of soluble fiber per day was linked to a 3.7% reduction in the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity, but it had no effect on the amount of fat under the skin (34).
What this implies, is that soluble fiber may be particularly effective at reducing the harmful belly fat.
The best way to get more fiber is to eat a lot of plant foods like vegetables and fruit. Legumes are also a good source, as well as some cereals like oats.
BOTTOM LINE:There is some evidence that soluble dietary fiber may lead to reduced amounts of belly fat, which should cause major improvements in metabolic health.
Exercise is important for various reasons.
It is among the best things you can do if you want to live a long, healthy life and avoid disease.
Getting into all of the amazing health benefits of exercise is beyond the scope of this article, but exercise does appear to be effective at reducing belly fat.
However, keep in mind that I’m not talking about abdominal exercises here. Spot reduction (losing fat in one spot) is not possible, and doing endless amounts of crunches will not make you lose fat from the belly.
In one study, 6 weeks of training just the abdominal muscles had no measurable effect on waist circumference or the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity (37).
That being said, other types of exercise can be very effective.
Another study found that exercise completely prevented people from re-gaining abdominal fat after weight loss, implying that exercise is particularly important during weight maintenance (40).
Exercise also leads to reduced inflammation, blood sugar levels and all the other metabolic abnormalities that are associated with central obesity (41).
BOTTOM LINE:Exercise can be very effective if you are trying to lose belly fat. Exercise also has a number of other health benefits.
What you eat is important. Pretty much everyone knows this.
However, surprisingly, most people actually don’t have a clue what they are really eating.
People think they’re eating “high protein,” “low-carb” or whatever, but tend to drastically over- or underestimate.
I think that for anyone who truly wants to optimize their diet, tracking things for a while is absolutely essential.
It doesn’t mean you need to weigh and measure everything for the rest of your life, but doing it every now and then for a few days in a row can help you realize where you need to make changes.
If you want to boost your protein intake to 25-30% of calories, as recommended above, just eating more protein rich foods won’t cut it. You need to actually measure and fine tune in order to reach that goal.
I personally do this every few months. I weigh and measure everything I eat to see what my current diet is looking like.
Then I know exactly where to make adjustments in order to get closer to my goals.
Is weight loss possible?
If you’re looking to shed some pounds, you may have considered trying a vegan diet. Vegans don’t eat meat, fish, eggs, or dairy products. Instead, they eat things like fresh fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, as well as plant-based milks, other nondairy products, and meat alternatives.
Although some people choose the vegan lifestyle out of ethical concerns for animals, the diet itself can have some health benefits. Ac, Is this Approach healthy?cording to recent studies, being vegan may even help you lose a significant amount of weight.
How exactly? More research is needed, but it’s thought that going vegan may lead to reducing the number of high-calorie foods you consume. With a vegan diet, you may end up replacing such foods with high-fiber alternatives that are low in calories and keep you fuller longer.
Cutting out some of the main food groups in your diet may seem unhealthy. And unless you carefully pay attention to your nutrition, it can be.
Some worry, for example, about getting enough protein or other essential nutrients, like vitamin B-12. This vitamin is found naturally only in animal products, and if you become deficient, it may result in anemia. Vegans need to supplement their diet with vitamins, vitamin-fortified cereals, and fortified soy products to avoid deficiencies.
Others may have trouble with yo-yo dieting after going vegan. What does this mean? It’s when you go through cycles of losing weight and then regaining all or more of that weight, possibly after having trouble sticking to vegan-only foods. This type of dieting is associated with some serious health consequences, like an increased risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Regardless of these and other possible pitfalls, you can eat a vegan diet healthily and lose weight. The key — as with all diets — is focusing on nutrient-dense foods versus empty calories. For vegans, these foods would include things like:
- fresh fruits and vegetables
- whole grains
- beans and legumes
- nuts and seeds
Limit or avoid vegan processed foods that contain these added ingredients:
- food additives
OTHER WAYS TO LOSE WEIGHT
Women generally need to eat 2,000 calories each day to maintain weight. To lose weight, this number drops to around 1,500 calories a day. Men generally need to eat 2,500 calories each day to maintain their weight and around 2,000 calories a day to lose weight.
A junk-food calorie doesn’t equal a whole-food calorie as far as nutrition goes. Even if you stay below your calorie goal, filling up on all Nutter Butter cookies, which happen to be vegan, is very different from filling up on buckets of fresh produce.
There are many factors that affect weight loss, including:
- current weight
- physical activity levels
- metabolic health
- other medical issues
Although you can’t control all of these factors, you can control your diet and exercise. Regardless of the type of diet you choose, you should follow these guidelines for healthy eating
Grazing throughout the day isn’t good for weight loss. Timing your meals is essential to boosting your metabolism and promoting healthy eating habits.
In general, try eating meals at the same time each day to get your mind and stomach into a predictable pattern. Munch on a larger breakfast in comparison to the other meals in your day. This may mean shifting your lunch a bit earlier and eating a smaller dinner.
If you’ve exercised, try eating within 45 minutes of finishing. This will help feed and repair your muscles.
When shouldn’t you eat? Within two hours of bedtime. Consuming calories too close to bedtime is associated with weight gain and sleep disturbances.
WATCH YOUR PORTIONS
Portion sizes matter with any of the foods you eat — vegan or not. The United States Department of Agriculture’s My Plate suggests that average women and men get the following number of servings of these foods each day:
|Food group||Servings for women||Servings for men|
|dairy or dairy alternatives||2–3||2–3|
|meat and beans||5 ounces||6 ounces|
Here are examples of single servings of different foods in each group for vegans:
|grains||• 1 slice bread
• 1 cup cold cereal
• 1/2 cup cooked cereal, pasta, or rice
|vegetables||• 1 cup raw leafy greens
• 1/2 cup raw or cooked veggies
• 3/4 cup vegetable juice
|fruits||• 1 medium piece whole fruit, such as an apple, banana, orange, or pear
• 1/2 cup chopped, cooked, or canned fruit
• 3/4 cup no sugar-added fruit juice
|dairy||• 1 cup nondairy milk|
|meat and beans||• 1/2 cup cooked dry beans
• 1/2 cup tofu
• 2-1/2 ounces soy burger
• 2 tablespoons peanut butter
• 1/3 cup nuts
|fats||• 1 tablespoon oil
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1/2 medium avocado
• 1 ounce nuts
• 2 tablespoons nut butter
Current recommendations for protein intake are around 5.5 ounces per day, or around 0.41 grams per pound of body weight. This means a 150-pound woman should consume approximately 61 grams of protein each day. A 175-pound man should consume around 72 grams each day.
When you break this down into calories, there are about 4 calories per gram of protein. So the woman in this example would need to get 244 calories from protein each day, and the man would need to get 288 calories from protein.
Good sources of plant protein include:
|Food||Serving size||Grams of protein|
|beans, such as chickpeas, black beans, and kidney beans||1 cup||15|
|tofu, firm||4 ounces||11|
|textured vegetable protein (TVP)||1/2 cup||8|
|peanut butter||2 tablespoons||8|
Before you sip that store-bought smoothie, consider how many calories it might contain. Even so-called healthy drinks and energy mixes can pack quite a caloric punch.
First, let’s take a look at a beverage most people know to steer clear while dieting: A 20-ounce soda contains around 240 calories and 15 to 18 teaspoons of sugar.
Read labels carefully and consider saving these drinks for special occasions.
Sticking with water is typically your best bet when trying to lower the number on the scale. It’s hydrating and contains zero calories. If you don’t like plain water, you might consider adding a squeeze of lemon or lime or trying herbal teas and sparkling waters.
The same rules apply to vegan and non-vegan desserts: Eat them in moderation. The average American eats a whopping 22.2 teaspoons of sugar each day. Whether that comes from a decadent ice cream sundae or a batch of vegan cookies, it’s still 335 calories that contain little nutritional value.
Sugar can actually disrupt your metabolism and lead to health issues beyond weight gain, including high blood pressure, inflammation, and elevated blood triglycerides. How much of the sweet stuff is enough? Women should try to limit their daily sugars to around 6 teaspoons or 100 calories each day. Men should aim to get fewer than 9 teaspoons or 150 calories each day.
If you’re looking for a healthy vegan dessert option that’s relatively low in calories without added sugars and fats, try fresh fruit. Otherwise, eat a small portion of a vegan dessert and save the rest for tomorrow or next week.
Eating a vegan diet may help you lose weight. Still, it’s always a good idea to talk with your doctor or a dietitian before making big changes to your diet. You should discuss how you’ll get critical nutrients, like protein and B vitamins.
Your doctor may also have other suggestions for how you might lose weight, like keeping a food diary or engaging in a regular exercise routine.