Fight fat with chocolate? Bust belly blubber with blueberries? Nosh on nuts to reduce that middle? You heard right. And dont believe what you hear about the merits of saturated fat. Although studies have found that saturated fat is not the culprit once thought when it comes to heart disease, it still needs to be limited. Saturated fat goes right to the abdomen and liver, where it interferes with our metabolism. The largest sources of saturate fats come from dairy and meat products. The centenarians of the blue zones eat meat very infrequently, if at all, which would indicate a lower saturated fat consumption. My recommendation, limit animal fats and use them only as the accompaniment to your meals.
Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats get distributed in other parts of the body and are also used to create muscle mass. Adding the foods listed below, can actually help to eliminate belly fat.
*Avocados. Most of the fat in avocados is poly- and monounsaturated, in addition to some protein. Avocados’ healthy fats reduce the sugar spikes that tell your body to add more belly fat. My favorite way to eat avocado is to simply mash it with a little garlic, sea salt and a squeeze of lemon or lime.
*Nuts. A handful of walnuts or almonds, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, not only reduces hunger pangs, it also fights belly fat. I eat mine every morning mixed in my blueberry/pomegranate/greek yogurt bowl. Sprinkle in the nuts, and you get a delicious breakfast that keeps you satisfied for hours, all while your belly fat is shrinking!
*Blueberries. A study in 2009, at the Experimental Biology Conference showed that blueberries help to get rid of belly fat. The active ingredient in blueberries is a compound known as anthocyanin. This compound controls insulin and glucose levels and determines how the body will burn and store energy. I eat em every morning! (see above)
*Fish. Fatty fish is an especially good source of important fat-burning omega-3 oils. Try for twice a week. I typically try to eat wild Salmon, although the season is limited. Another good source is Anchovies, although, I do not do well with these. Strangely, some of you actually like them (you know who you are).
*Olives and Olive oil, specifically, extra virgin olive oil. Think, Mediterranean diet, still the benchmark of healthy eating as an overall guide. The monounsaturated fat, the kind found in olives, can encourage weight loss. Olive oil consumption has been shown to breakdown fats inside fat cells and get rid of belly fat. EVOO is always the star ingredient for my home-made salad dressings.
*Dark chocolate, ideally, 70-80% cocoa. The zinc in dark chocolate increases your bodys levels of circulating leptin, which is a hormone that regulates your energy expenditures, fat storages and appetite. Dark chocolate can significantly reduce levels of stress hormones. A surge in stress hormones is linked to gaining more belly fat. Just a couple of squares will do the trick.