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Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Wyatt

Abdominal fat, or the fat around our organs, increases our risk of premature death. Abdominal fat has been linked to meat (of any kind), egg, and milk consumption. Poultry consumption, in particular, appears linked to an expanding waist circumference. Meat may decrease levels of adiponectin, a hormone which may help protect from cellulite. Processed sugary and fatty foods are low nutrient, high calorie and may have addictive properties. Even artificial sweeteners may cause weight gain. Obesity can start in adolescence. Boys who eat more meat in childhood may be more likely to develop abdominal fat streaks, putting them at greater risk for heart disease.

On the other hand, plant foods may have slimming effects (as with beans such as soy, and nuts) and enhance abdominal fat loss from exercise (as with green tea), though some plant foods, such as grapefruit, have just as much effect on weight loss as water. Flavonoid phytonutrients (found concentrated in citrus, berries, red onions, beans, green tea, grapes, and cocoa) may boost metabolism enough to significantly slim one’s waistline.

Nuts, too, may help achieve a slimmer waist, less weight gain, and lower one’s risk of obesity by boosting our metabolism, satiating our appetites, and may have less calories than previously thought because of fecal fat loss. Nuts may also prevent death by lengthening our lifespans and reducing our cancer risk. Dried fruit has similar effects. Eating legumes helps to reduce belly fat, which lowers one’s risk for metabolic syndrome, a type of prediabetes. Although weight loss can be achieved through a variety of diets, blood flow is better in people who eat plant-based diets as compared to low-carb diets.

Obesity can lead to other health problems, including a decrease in one’s ability to feel pleasure. When abdominal obesity, high fasting sugars, high triglycerides, and high cholesterol are all present in the same individual, this is referred to as “metabolic syndrome.” Losing an extra few pounds of belly fat may be the best way to prevent prediabetes and protect babies during pregnancy, since pollutants may be stored in fat cells.


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