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What Not to Eat When Trying to Burn Belly Fat

author image Ann Jamerson
Ann Jamerson began writing ads and informational brochures for research trials in 2003 during an internship at an alcohol and drug research center. She assisted in writing and editing manuscripts concerning the breast cancer genes and psychosocial effects on affected patients. She received her Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of California, San Diego and is currently attending nursing school.
What Not to Eat When Trying to Burn Belly Fat
Foods high in sugar and trans fat contribute to belly fat. Photo Credit Isabel Pimentel/iStock/Getty Images

Belly fat consists of two types of fat: subcutaneous, the layer you can pinch, and visceral, the layer deep inside your abdominal cavity. The subcutaneous layer, while not entirely unhealthy, affects your physical appearance. The visceral layer, however, can seriously endanger your health if it accumulates, because it lies near vital organs, including your heart and liver. Shedding belly fat involves avoiding certain foods that promote unhealthy weight gain. Consult your doctor before making any dramatic changes to your diet.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup

What Not to Eat When Trying to Burn Belly Fat
Avoid high-fructose corn syrup Photo Credit Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

A Princeton University research team reported in 2010 that, in rats, the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup led to more weight gain than the consumption of regular table sugar. The effect of high-fructose corn syrup on weight gain in humans remains an issue of debate among nutrition professionals as of 2011; however, nutritionists advise that, as with all sweeteners, you should limit your intake of high-fructose corn syrup.

Refined Grains

What Not to Eat When Trying to Burn Belly Fat
White bread Photo Credit DaveBolton/iStock/Getty Images

Refined grains refer to grains from which the nutritious and high-fiber outer bran and germ layers are removed during processing. These include white rice, white bread and enriched flour. A study published in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” in 2010 showed that a higher intake of refined grains was associated with a higher amount of visceral belly fat. Conversely, higher consumption of whole grains -- grains with all layers intact -- correlated with lower visceral belly fat. To avoid belly-fat weight gain, choose whole grains, such as brown rice, oatmeal and whole-wheat bread, over refined grains whenever possible.


What Not to Eat When Trying to Burn Belly Fat
Sugar Photo Credit YelenaYemchuk/iStock/Getty Images

High sugar consumption affects many aspects of your nutritional health. According to Dr. Robert Lustig, a neuroendocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco, sugar triggers fat storage and deceives the brain into thinking it is hungry when you are otherwise satisfied. This leads to what he calls a “vicious cycle” of overeating, which typically includes the wrong foods. Limit your consumption of high-sugar foods, including sodas and juices, which provide only empty calories.

Trans Fat and Saturated Fat

What Not to Eat When Trying to Burn Belly Fat
Salmon Photo Credit Brent Hofacker/iStock/Getty Images

Trans fat and saturated fat contribute to a host of health problems, including cardiovascular disease and weight gain. High amounts of both fats in your diet can lead to redistribution of fat to your abdomen, according to Dr. Lawrence Rudel, a professor of pathology and biochemistry at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. To help avoid belly fat and for better overall health, limit trans and saturated fats in your diet and incorporate more unsaturated fats. Foods high in mono- and polyunsaturated fats include olive oil, nuts, avocados and fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna.

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