10 Foods That Cause Abdominal Obesity
In the United States, more than one-third of adults are obese. Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. BMI is a calculation of height and weight. Abdominal obesity, also known as central obesity, occurs when there is too much fat around the waist. This type of obesity is especially harmful because it increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
What foods cause abdominal obesity? Certain foods can increase the risk of abdominal obesity. These foods are high in calories, fat, and sugar. They also tend to be low in fiber and nutrients. If you are trying to lose weight or prevent abdominal obesity, it is important to avoid these ten foods.
Foods That Cause Abdominal Obesity
1. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
Sugar-sweetened beverages include sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened teas, and fruit juices. These drinks are high in calories and sugar. A 20-ounce soda, for example, has about 240 calories and 65 grams of sugar. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 150 calories from added sugar daily. That’s about 9 teaspoons or 36 grams for men and 6 teaspoons or 25 grams for women. Drinking just one 20-ounce soda a day can cause you to exceed these recommendations.
Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has been linked to an increased risk for abdominal obesity. Replace sugary drinks with water, unsweetened tea or coffee, or sparkling water with citrus or mint to help reduce your waistline.
2. Processed Meats
Processed meats are high in saturated fat and sodium, both of which can contribute to excessive abdominal fat. These meats include items such as bacon, ham, sausage, and hot dogs. If you want to eat meat, opt for leaner cuts like chicken or fish.
3. Refined Carbohydrates
Refined carbs are found in processed foods like white bread, pastries, and cakes. They’re high in calories and low in fiber, which can cause weight gain. What’s more, refined carbs are quickly digested and metabolized, which can spike blood sugar levels and lead to abdominal fat storage.
Regular consumption of alcohol can lead to weight gain, especially around the abdomen. Alcohol is high in calories and quickly converted to sugar in the body. Furthermore, alcohol consumption can increase the risk of developing chronic diseases like liver disease, which can contribute to abdominal weight gain.
5. Trans Fats
Trans fats are found in unhealthy processed foods like fried foods, baked goods, and Margarine. They increase bad cholesterol levels and decrease good cholesterol levels. Trans fats can also lead to inflammation, which has been linked to an increased risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Trans fats are particularly dangerous because they not only cause weight gain but also promote excess belly fat.
6. Fried Foods
Fried foods are often high in unhealthy fats and calories. French fries, fried chicken, and doughnuts are all examples of fried foods that you should limit if you’re trying to reduce your risk of weight gain in the stomach area.
7. Added Sugars
Added sugars are sugars that are added to food during processing or preparation. They can be found in a variety of foods, such as candy, baked goods, sugary drinks, and processed snacks. Consuming too much-added sugar is associated with an increased risk of abdominal obesity.
8. Fatty foods
Fatty foods like cheese, butter, and red meat are some of the worst offenders in causing abdominal obesity. These foods are high in calories and fat, leading to unwanted weight gain and an increase in belly fat.
9. Sugary Desserts
Cookies, cakes, ice cream, and other sugary desserts are loaded with empty calories that can make you gain belly fat. Enjoy sweets in moderation, or opt for a healthier dessert like fruit salad.
10. Salty Snacks
Pretzels, chips, crackers, and other salty snacks are often high in sodium, which can cause water retention and bloat around the waistline. Choose unsalted versions of your favorite snacks or opt for a healthier alternative, like fruits or vegetables instead.
The bottom line
Abdominal obesity is a major problem facing many adults today—but it’s one that can be avoided with the right lifestyle choices. By steering clear of these foods that cause abdominal obesity, you can help improve your overall health and reduce your risk of developing serious chronic diseases down the road!
Learn more: 15 Foods That Will Burn Belly Fat