Do fruit juices actually cause belly fat to form, or is that just a myth?

No one food or beverage is the sole cause of belly fat. But, a diet that exceeds calorie needs can lead to an increase in abdominal fat. There are two kinds of belly fat: subcutaneous fat, found just below the skin, and the more harmful visceral fat. The last type of fat is hard to see because it is so deep within the abdominal cavity, so even normal sized people can have excess visceral fat. It causes excess fatty acids to drain into the liver and muscles, triggering changes in the body that can increase risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Moral of the story? We need to reduce all type of belly fat.

I am not a fan of specific “diets”, especially ones that are focused solely on “shedding stomach fat”. In order to lose pounds around your midsection, you have to do it the old fashioned way. Eating a healthy diet that is filled with whole grains/fruits and vegetables, AND you need to get some exercise. I counsel patients on not exceeding their calorie needs for the day and if they can get moving, they burn more calories than they take in, which leads to weight loss. However, there are certain foods that can help reduce overall weight. There was a study published in Obesity in 2012. It found that for every additional 10 grams of soluble fiber ingested by participants daily, such as from one-half cup of beans, visceral fat was cut by 3.7% over five years (that’s a waistline reduction of about 1.5 inches). Among grains, oats are highest in soluble fiber, but barley and rice bran also rank high, along with non-grain beans, citrus fruits, and strawberries (all lower-calorie than processed junk). You can also get your 10g in eating two small apples or a cup of green peas.

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