Five veggies to avoid if you want to reduce belly fat are bananas, pineapples, mangoes, dates and grapes. These fruits top the chart for highest sugar content. Excess sugar in the diet is stored as fat in the body and tends to show in the abdominal region. Fructose and sorbitol are sugars found naturally in most fruits. Sorbitol causes bloating for many individuals, and too much sugar in any form will contribute to weight gain and increased belly fat.
Fruits with a high sugar concentration are highest in calories. The sweeter a fruit tastes, the higher the sugar content. For example, pineapples are so sweet naturally that it almost hurts your mouth to eat them because of the citric acid. Mangoes and bananas are so starchy that they are commonly used in shakes or smoothies as a thickening agent. The starch acts as sugar in the body and is stored as fat. Although grapes have skin which is high in fiber, they are highly concentrated with sugar.
The body metabolizes simple sugars easily causing a spike in blood glucose. The higher your body’s blood glucose, the more insulin your body must produce to stabilize it. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. According to Mayo Clinic, insulin spikes result in increased weight gain and fat storage. The skin on a fruit increases the fiber content, which decreases the spike in insulin. Bananas and mangoes both have skin, but it is not consumed, so the fiber is minimal.
To avoid belly fat, start with fresh fruits. Fresh, whole fruits are always a better option than processed fruit such as canned fruit or fruit juices. For example, a can of diced pears contains little fiber and more sugar compared to a fresh pear, since the skin increases the fiber content and no sugar is added. Consuming fruits with a high-fiber content will help stabilize blood glucose. Fortunately, fruit can still be part of a healthy diet. Aim for fruits with skin that aren't too sweet. Berries and citrus fruits are good examples of low-sugar fruits that are high in fiber.
A recent study published in the "Journal of Clinical Investigation" showed that fructose causes more belly fat than glucose regardless of calorie content. Seemingly all sugar is created equal, but some people eat too much fruit because they believe it is healthy and fructose is a natural sugar. The best option to reduce belly fat is to limit the amount of sugar you consume each day. Along with monitoring your diet, incorporating more physical activity will help burn up any excess sugar you consume. Another option is to eat fruits with a source of protein or fat. It takes longer for the body to break down the sugars and it will reduce a spike in insulin.