Fat-burning foods such as salmon, almonds, green tea and fat-free yogurt help to reduce belly fat, but a combination of the right foods, exercise, sleep and stress management is key to eliminating visceral fat around the waistline. Research suggests that several foods prevent and reduce belly fat, while others contribute to weight gain in the midsection.
Foods high in saturated fat, such as whole milk, red meat and cheese, may increase deep belly fat, while foods that contain monounsaturated fats and omega-3s, such as olive oil, sunflower seeds and almonds, are beneficial when consumed in moderation. Refined sugars, including those found in soft drinks, may contribute to inflammation in the body, which may increase belly fat. White breads and many processed snack foods have similar effects on the body. Anti-inflammatory foods such as berries, kale, green tea and other antioxidant-packed ingredients have the opposite effect and may help diminish and prevent belly fat.
Research from a Duke University study found that individuals who added 10 grams of soluble fat to their regular daily diets added less visceral fat to their bellies than those who consumed less fiber. Apples, beans, peas, broccoli and oatmeal are high in fiber and help burn belly fat. At least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week, six to seven hours of nightly sleep, and active participation in stress-reduction techniques also help reduce and prevent belly fat.