Tired of the excess belly fat? Trying to do everything that you can to get your tummy back in shape? It's time you worked harder, not just for vanity's sake, but for preventing yourself from severe health risks that could be in the offing because of the weight accumulation, particularly in the abdominal region. According to a study, abdominal fat may increase the risk of developing cancer especially in postmenopausal women.
The study revealed that body fat distribution in the abdomen could have a strong link in developing risk of cancers such as lung and gastrointestinal (GI), than body mass index (BMI) or fat percentage.
"When assessing cancer risk, BMI and fat percentage may not be adequate measures as they fail to assess the distribution of fat mass," said Line Maersk Staunstrup, doctoral student with Nordic Bioscience, a Denmark-based biotechnology firm.
"Avoiding central obesity may confer the best protection," Staunstrup added.
The team examined 5,855 women (mean age 71 years) to assess body fat and body fat composition. They were followed for 12 years. The study, presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress in Madrid found that the ratio of abdominal fat to peripheral fat was a major independent predictor of cancer diagnosis.
Studying in length about the specific cancers and risk factors, the researchers concluded that only lung and gastrointestinal cancers were associated with high abdominal to peripheral fat ratios. In addition to this, older age, receipt of hormone replacement therapy and smoking as well as obesity and particularly insulin resistance were found to have a link in raising cancer risk.
"Increases in insulin, resulting from over-consumption of simple carbohydrates such as potatoes, wheat, rice and corn, result in fat accumulation that is specifically visceral and abdominal," explained Andrea De Censi, from Galliera Hospital, Genoa, in Italy.
Apart from fat loss with diet and exercise, diabetes drug such as metformin, which can lower insulin effects may play a potential role for cancer prevention, this calls for intervention in the weight management of body too.
In the past belly fat has also been associated with developing hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. Here are some foods that can help you shed extra weight around your belly -
1.Pineapple: It contains an enzyme called bromelain which has anti-inflammatory properties. This enzyme helps in metabolising proteins that helps in getting a flatter tummy.
2. Cherries: Studies show that regular intake of cherries helps in lowering symptoms of CVD and metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of belly fat accumulation as well as the risk of heart diseases and diabetes.
3. Whole Grains and Fibre Rich Foods: Fibers take a long time to digest, hence it gives you the feeling of fullness and prevents you from binging on other high-carb foods. Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Dutta suggests, "You must include high fibre foods such as leafy vegetables and whole grains in your diet. Whole grains have a positive impact in maintaining satiety. Eat a lot of beans, brown or whole grain rice, nuts and dry fruits to maximise on your fibre intake."
4. Green Leafy Vegetables: Green leafy vegetables are low in calories, high in fiber and contain calcium and Vitamin C. Vegetable juices (like spinach juice and celery juice) help in cleansing the body and increase the metabolic rate.
5. Apples: Rich in dietary fiber, flavonoids and beta carotene, apples help in keeping your belly feel full and prevent overeating. Pectin present in apples helps in weight loss by transforming into a gel like substance that traps dietary cholesterol and fat.
Include these 5 foods in you diet and keep your tummy is place and risks at bay.