The Truth About Belly Fat: WebMD Survey Reveals Fatty Facts

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Upon receiving a WebMD survey titled: Worst Foods For Belly Fat, we decided to take the quiz, thinking we would ace it. We were surprised to learn a few new things about belly fat and we thought we would share the findings.

It’s true, belly fat is the worst kind of fat to accumulate, because it is more dangerous than excess fat around the hips, buttocks thighs and other areas. Part of the reason is because many of our vital organs are located within the torso area, where excess belly fat is stored. This can be restricting to those organs. Belly fat and being overweight is correlated with more serious health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and strokes.

WebMD Survey: Learn Facts About Belly Fat: How To Fight It

WebMD Survey: Learn Facts About Belly Fat: How To Fight It

Most of us believe that fatty foods such as cheese, butter, meats and foods high in saturated fats are the culprits of belly fat, which is somewhat false. These foods can contribute to weight gain, but genetics, diet, age and lifestyle play the biggest roles. To offset foods high in saturated fats, it is best to eat more raw fruits and vegetables, and eat smaller portions.

When asked if calories from alcohol are worse than other foods, despite what we may believe, this is true. Alcohol is a big offender, because alcohol is high in calories, and also, because it puts your liver in the position to burn off the alcohol, so it is too busy to burn fat. In addition, alcohol can make you feel hungry and give you the munchies, so you eat more when consuming alcoholic beverages. Calories from alcohol are worse than other foods for belly fat? True

Of these choices: saturated fats, monounsaturated fats and trans fats, trans fats are the largest contributors. Trans fats contain hydrogenated oil, which can be found in cookies, crackers, pastries, fried foods, margarine and convenient snack foods, and by cutting down on these in your diet, you can reduce trans fat intake and battle the bulge.

Fat fighting foods include: blueberries, green tea. According to the Journal of Nutrition, green tea contains catechins which help burn calories, and in tested rodents, blueberries decreased abdominal fat. The assumption is that this blueberry effect would have the same impact on humans.

The fast food question came as no surprise. Yes, fast foods can make us gain weight, because fast foods are high in fat, dense in calories and in many cases over-consumed. Fast food is convenient, and the portions are pretty hefty. In addition, there is not a lot of nutritional value. When considering belly fat busters, fast food is at the top of the list to cut down.

For those who think replacing regular soda with diet, think again. It is not an answer. Soft drinks and high fructose corn syrup/sugar sweetened beverages are the biggest offenders in the obesity epidemic, according to the American Heart Association, but there is no conclusive evidence that by drinking diet over regular soda that you will decrease belly fat or lose weight.

Fiber factor: it’s true, eating more fiber-rich foods will help you lose weight. Replacing highly processed foods and refined grains with whole grains and foods high in fiber will help the waistline.

This was a shocker, when asked if men collect more belly fat than women, we answered true, and it is FALSE, which is dependent upon sex hormones. Women store more fat in the hips, thighs and buttocks until after the age of 40, when estrogen levels drop, then they gain more weight in the abdomen, but men tend to accumulate more weight in the belly, overall.

Also, when asked if belly fat is harder to lose than other areas of the body, we answered yes. Again to our surprise, it was false. We were wrong. The truth is when you are working to lose weight, you’re much more likely to lose it in your waist and midsection.

If you think that targeted exercises such as crunches and sit ups will specifically tackle belly fat, well, that is not the case. Crunches and sit ups will strengthen core muscles and help us lose fat, but not just belly fat. The best way to lose belly fat is through diet and exercise, in tandem.

Sherry Azzarella

Sherry Azzarella is a well-known marketing and communications specialist. Her core competencies include: brand, content and campaign development/management; building key relationships and alliances; traditional, online, strategic and mass marketing; event management, community outreach, publishing, fund raising and increasing revenue streams via cooperative campaigns (from grass roots to mainstream). Google Profile

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