While we’re firm believers in loving your beautiful body at all times, abdominal fat has been shown in a number of studies to be particularly bad for overall health, having been associated with several different cancers, metabolic disorder, type 2 diabetes, and more. The good news? This type of fat is particularly yielding to dietary intervention—meaning what you eat can make a real difference in your health. We reached out to some of the best functional medicine doctors in the country to find out the top foods they recommend to their patients.
1. Whole Olives & Nuts:
I like to stick to science to answer as many of my patient’s inquiries so I will go with two foods (sorry) proven to accelerate loss of belly fat: whole olives and nuts. I have been prescribing a fasting mimicking diet that is plant based and uses whole foods, teas, and soups for five days a month. The plan is rich in whole olives and nuts and the published results at three months include impressive loss of belly (visceral) fat without loss of lean muscle mass.
2. Green Smoothies:
Green smoothies! Hands down my No. 1 recommendation for eliminating belly fat and cleaning up our digestive systems and liver. Here is a recipe I often recommend: Blend up 8 to 10 ounces of water, ¼ cup dandelion greens, ½ cup frozen strawberries, one stalk of celery, and one banana. Blend together and enjoy!
3. Unprocessed Food:
I personally like a little belly—just saying—seems pretty natural to me for many people. To reduce visceral fat, the No. 1 thing is cutting out simple added sugars and starches mainly found in processed foods.
—Drew Ramsey, M.D. and author of Eat Complete
4. Healthy Fats:
I think belly fat is inextricably tied to insulin resistance. Often the best thing you can do to offset insulin resistance is to ditch sugar, refined carbohydrates, and grains, and up your intake of healthy fats.
5. Chia seeds:
Chia seeds fight belly fat in multiple ways. They are one of the greatest dietary sources of fiber around. They can absorb up to 27 times their own size in water, helping to rid you of water weight, keep your bowels regular, and keep you feeling full but not bloated. Chia seeds not only fight bloating, but they also are a well-balanced source of protein, carbs, and fat. Keeping these macronutrients balanced is ideal for keeping your metabolism functioning at optimum levels and makes chia seeds a source of double trouble for stubborn extra pounds.
Healthy fats are needed to burn fat. Avocados provide ample amount of energy-rich healthy fats, metabolism revving vitamins, and minerals and are filling, which curbs cravings.