The type of food you eat, calorie intake, metabolism, genetics, gender and physical activity all play a role in how your body stores fat. Men tend to store more fat in their abdominal area than women do. One way to reduce or limit the amount of fat stored in your abdominal area is to limit foods high in sugar, salt and saturated fats, and consume more foods that are high in fiber and protein.
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Leafy green vegetable such as broccoli, asparagus, green beans and spinach are high-fiber, low-calorie vegetables that do not cause abdominal fat. Vegetables like these contain insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is not digested by your body, unlike fats, proteins or carbohydrates that your body breaks down and absorbs, according to the Mayo Clinic. Insoluble fiber passes through your digestive system and does not contribute to fat gain in your abdominal region.
Whole-grain carbohydrates such as oatmeal, sweet potatoes, brown rice and whole-grain breads and pasta are less likely to cause abdominal fat because of their high-fiber content. Most of these foods are high in soluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water forming a gel-like material that causes cholesterol and excess blood sugar to stick to it and be removed from the body. Excess sugar in the blood stream is stored as fat in the abdominal area and throughout the body. Consuming foods high in soluble fiber can help prevent the body from storing unused sugar as abdominal fat. Additionally, fruits such as apples, oranges, grapefruit and berries as less likely to cause abdominal fat.
Foods that are high in protein, but low in saturated fat are also healthy choices. Eggs or egg whites, lean chicken or turkey breast, lean beef, fish or low-fat dairy products are animal protein options. Vegetable sources of protein, such as beans, nuts and whole grains offer healthy fiber, vitamins and minerals, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Foods high in protein contain amino acids that build muscle tissue. The more muscle tissue you have the higher your metabolism will be, which can help to reduce abdominal fat.
What you eat plays a significant role in whether or not your body will store it as abdominal fat. However, how many calories taken in on a daily basis, as well as, how many calories you burn through physical exercise and activity need to also be taken into account. You can eat endless amounts of healthy foods that supposedly will not cause belly fat, but if you are not exercising you may not burn excess belly fat, or if you are over-consuming, your body may store the food as fat to be used for energy later.