It's no secret that American bellies are big and getting bigger, but our fitness expert Basheerah Ahmad has some very interesting info. Surprisingly, she says the bulge people are carrying around isn't all fat!
"Most of us think our bellies are large just because we eat too much and we exercise too little," says Basheerah. "But what many of you do not know is that there are several other culprits that can also contribute to that dreaded bulge."
Most of the bloating in your midriff area is caused by bloating of the intestines and there are several foods that cause this.
The first food that causes bloating is wheat or bread. People are not only sensitive to wheat, but to the gluten that's in wheat. When you eat wheat, your intestines become inflamed, which causes bloating and gas. This adds to that unwanted girth.
An easy fix is to switch to a spelt flour or a rye flour. You can find spelt and rye flours in most health food stores and online.
The next food to avoid is, of course, 'junk food.' We're talking potato chips and french fries. Not only does it add to your overall fat intake, but it also contributes to irritating the gastrointestinal system, which again causes bloating and gas.
Finally, let's talk about dairy. Many people grew up drinking as much milk as they wanted, eating cheese and that was never a problem, right? But many people become lactose-intolerant as they get older because their bodies no longer have the enzyme that breaks down and properly digests the milk sugar, or lactose.
If you find that you are lactose-intolerant, there are many satisfying substitutes - soy, almond, hemp and rice mock-dairy products are available in your local grocery store. Remember, it's not just about fat when you're battling the bulge - it's also about knowing what's best for your body.
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