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What are the Worst Foods that Cause Belly Fat

Updated on April 11, 2015

Today's fast paced life has lead many of us to fall victim to the ease of driving through fast food restaurants, de-stress with a cocktail or treat ourselves to a pastry with our morning coffee. The majority of these comfort food items are what provokes the development of unsightly and dangerous belly fat.

What are the most common foods that cause belly fat?

  • fried foods (hydrogenated oils)
  • refined sugar
  • white flour
  • alcohol

What makes these foods dangerous? Most fast foods and comfort foods are heavily processed with unhealthy oils, bleached flour and refined sugar. Processed ingredients serve to enhance and preserve the food. It sounds beneficial to us, but in fact it can literally weigh you down and affect your health. If a food that you eat contains preservatives, how easy do you think it will be for a stomach to digest it? Since these processed ingredients are not natural, it makes sense that our body will not respond to these foods effectively. In turn, the energy from these foods remain stored not only as belly fat, but also as toxins.

Also, most of these ingredients end up being converted to unused sugar energy. If the body does not utilize the sugar (carbohydrates) in our body it will convert this energy to fat and store it. Unfortunately, the body usually stores this fat around the midsection.

French fries tastes great but they are usually fried in unhealthy hydrogenated oils. Fried foods cause belly fat.
French fries tastes great but they are usually fried in unhealthy hydrogenated oils. Fried foods cause belly fat. | Source

Fried Foods

Fried foods cause belly fat.

Fried foods pack on calories mainly from saturated fats and carbohydrates. Not only are these foods high in fat, but these foods usually contain ingredients that make digestion difficult for the body. If digestion is not thorough or energy is not using up your meal then you can expect to find it stored as fat around your belly.

Typical fried foods:

  • French fries
  • Onion Rings
  • Fried chicken
  • Corn dogs
  • Chips
  • Doughnuts
  • Funnel Cakes

There is no doubt that sugary sweets taste great but refined sugar is known to cause belly fat.
There is no doubt that sugary sweets taste great but refined sugar is known to cause belly fat. | Source

Refined Sugars

Refined sugars cause belly fat.

Sugar is present in many foods, even in fruits and veggies. How much, or rather, what kind of sugar is safe to eat? The type of sugar to watch out for is refined white sugar. If you consume a teaspoon of white sugar, you would have already consumed 15 calories. That goes to show that sugar is a calorie dense ingredient. With that thought, you can imagine how easy it is to take in too many sugar calories in one sitting.

Here are other sugars that the consumption should be moderated:

  • Corn Syrup
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Evaporated Cane Juice
  • Most commercial baked goods (cakes, brownies, muffins, cookies)
  • Gummy snacks (fruit drops and roll-ups)
  • Candy
  • Sugary drinks (sodas, sports drinks, sweet tea, etc.)

There are many alternatives to white sugar. There are several non calorie brands available that provide the sweet taste we crave without the calories.

White flour is usually used in sugary baked goods. White four converts to sugar and causes belly fat.
White flour is usually used in sugary baked goods. White four converts to sugar and causes belly fat. | Source

White Flour

White flour causes belly fat.

White flour or enriched bleached flour is an ingredient to watch out for. Although it isn’t hazardous to your body, it provides little nutrition with many calories. Not quite the fair deal. Since white flour is made up of carbohydrates, your body will respond to its digestion as sugar. What happens to the sugar our body doesn't use? It is stored as fat.

White flour can be substituted with whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour is flour that has not been bleached or processed, meaning that it still contains nutrients such as fiber and even protein. Whole wheat flour has more nutritional value and will be used more efficiently by your body.

Wine, beer and cocktails contain alcohol. Alcohol converts to sugar and creates belly fat.
Wine, beer and cocktails contain alcohol. Alcohol converts to sugar and creates belly fat. | Source


Alcohol causes belly fat.

Alcohol beverages are tricky. Once it is consumed, your body responds to it as sugar. If you take in more sugar than your body needs, then your body will store it in its favorite area; the belly. Beer, liquors, wines and mixed drinks all contain high amounts of sugar. Consider a wine spritzer or club soda to curb unwanted sugar calories.

Fried foods, flour, sugar and alcohol are the 4 worst foods that cause belly FAT.
Fried foods, flour, sugar and alcohol are the 4 worst foods that cause belly FAT. | Source

Ingredients you should stop eating right now

© 2012 Marisa Hammond Olivares


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    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      4 years ago from Texas

      FreezeFrame34, emotional eating is a real battle all in itself. I too need to commit to cleaning up my diet after all the holiday binging. Thank you for reading and commenting.

      LindaSmith1, I MUST have an occasional chocolate...period. I'm not much for iced tea but I've started using Truvia in my coffee...way better than Splenda. Thank you for commenting, sorry for my late response.

    • LindaSmith1 profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      Chocoholic an Iced Tea fanatic with granulated sugar of course. Weight is stable, and I won't mention my belly fat.

    • FreezeFrame34 profile image


      5 years ago from Charleston SC

      I'm an emotional eater, so when I'm stressed, these are the foods I crave! This article made me more mindful of what my body craves and I'll find healthier alternatives so my belly isn't suffering!

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      5 years ago from Texas

      TurtleDog, thanks for the votes! I noticed if I eat sugar or flour early in the day it is going to be a very tasty BUT rough ride the rest of the day. Why do things that are bad for us have to taste so good? :)

    • TurtleDog profile image


      5 years ago

      Uh....Oh..... I think I'm in trouble with some of these (not the booze one though... ok... maybe that one too ;-) Great post. Totally voted up and interesting my friend

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Freda, you are absolutely correct, diet is very important. Thank you for reading.

      TurtleDog, so very true, aside from the alcohol some of those fancy cocktails have gobs of syrupy sugar in them. Metabolism is important too. Thank you for stopping by to read and comment - it is greatly appreciated.

    • TurtleDog profile image


      6 years ago

      Excellent points, especially alcohol. People don't realize that it really is a 'sugary' drink in its own way. Not to mention I think it also curbs your metabolism leading to great fat storage... I think anyway :-) Great post up and awesome

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Diet is very important, as the saying goes, disease enters by the mouth. These very good article is worth us to study hard.

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      6 years ago from Texas

      CZCZCZ, I hear you. It isn't always easy to stay away from these foods is it? At least we know what to avoid or at least eat in moderation. Glad to see you stopped by to read, thank you.

      carrie Lee Night, I totally agree with you; eating in moderation and staying active is necessary in staying ahead of any calories consumed. Excess calories are stored as fat. Please note the title of the Hub is, What are the Worst Foods that Cause Belly Fat, and I was highlighting the specific foods that have been found to increase belly fat. I hope I was able to answer the question placed in the title? Perhaps I'll add a section on remaining active and create a more comprehensive hub. Thank you for sharing your experience and highlighting the need for activity. I appreciate you reading and commenting.

    • carrie Lee Night profile image

      Carrie Lee Night 

      6 years ago from Northeast United States

      missolive: Good article to read and great facts :) However, there are a lot of factors with belly fat. Knowing from person experience that everyones genetics/metabolism is different. If I eat too much it is lean or midsection doesn't like it very much. Also its all about eating in moderation and exercising...the fastest way to belly fat for most people is lack of activity....I know this from personal experience. Thank you so much for your time in writing this article....hope I am not too critical :) Just food for thought :)

    • CZCZCZ profile image


      6 years ago from Oregon

      So many foods that I enjoy eating and need to avoid. Great advice and recommendations on foods to avoid that are big causes of belly fat.

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      6 years ago from Texas

      idigwebites, true that! I'm right there with you and I'm working very hard to be good. The water part is hard for me though; one, it is cold out and two, I'm a teacher. :)

      SINewsome, glad you agree, now we have to stick to it. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • SINewsome profile image

      Sophie Newsome 

      6 years ago from New York

      Great hub! I completely agree with eliminating these foods from one's diet.

    • idigwebsites profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      All the bad things taste really good..

      Now that the holidays are over I've obviously gained a bit of a belly fat. I really need to slow down on my intake. And drink lots of water, which is no problem with me. Good information. Voted up and useful. :)

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      6 years ago from Texas

      sweetie, I hope you never have belly fat and it sounds like you maintain a pretty healthy diet. Good point on the drunkards....of course, being in Texas I have seen quite a few beer bellies. :)

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

    • sweetie1 profile image


      6 years ago from India

      Thank God I still don't have body fat but with age I am sure I would gain. I didn't know that drinking alcohol can make you gain weight because all the drunkards I have seen are usually very thin, may be after spending so much on alcohol they don't have enough to eat.

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      7 years ago from Texas

      nancynurse, you are absolutely right, we as a society are struggling with weight. I've become more aware of portions at restaurants. We need to become more practical. Glad to have you stop by to read and comment.

    • nancynurse profile image

      Nancy McClintock 

      7 years ago from Southeast USA

      Great hub and very necessary with our society struggling with weight . Well written. voted up.

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      7 years ago from Texas

      carol7777, thank you! Yes, fighting belly fat as we age is not fun. Plus, gravity has a tendency to take over too. ha! Oh well, glad to share what I discovered.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      I am glad we don't eat the whites.....So far I have been lucky with this. THis is a great hub for those who do fight belly fat...and this becomes more of a problem when you get older. Great hub. Voted UP.

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      7 years ago from Texas

      MsDora, french fries are a weakness for me too. Sometimes I have enough will power to stay away from them. Other times, they are just too tempting. You have motivated me to try harder too. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. It is always a pleasure to see you.

      Blissful Writer, you are oh so right. I have another article on metabolic syndrome; belly fat and insulin resistance are definitely related to diabetes and cardiovascular health. Good for you on giving up sodas. I don't think I could entirely give up bread and pastas though. I'm trying to stick to whole grains when possible. Thank you for your insightful comment.

    • BlissfulWriter profile image


      7 years ago

      I'm reducing my refined sugar and refined carbohydrates (which turns into sugar). Because these are the food spikes blood sugar and causes insulin resistance when there is chronic glucose overload. Abdominal fat is typically an indication of insulin resistance which in time may lead to diabetes.

      I hardly drink sodas anymore and hardly eat bread and pasta.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      7 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for these reminders, MissOlive. I'm over all these foods except the fries which I have perhaps two or three times a year. I hate belly fat, and reading hubs like yours help to keep me focused.

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      7 years ago from Texas

      barberbirl28, those BBQ's can be brutal when trying to watch one's weight. Appetizers and drinks sure are tempting. You've done a fabulous job with your weight-loss and work-out hubs. I've seen you transform in your pictures and I am so proud of you. You are nothing less than an inspiration.

      ThoughtSandwiches, Mountain Dew sure is a missile of sugar. The good thing is you are aware of it and you can try to limit its consumption along the way. Good for you on drinking all that water - keep it up!

      Brian Slater, how are those swim trunks coming along? I bet you are one determined individual and are doing just fine with your diet. The good thing is we can always jump back on the bandwagon whenever we fall off. Thanks for reading.

      Kristine Manley, fries sure can be tempting. It is especially hard to resist at least one when someone in the car ordered them from the drive thru window! :)

      ishwaryaa22, good for you on dropping white flour and refined sugar from your diet. Thank you so much for your votes and for sharing. It is greatly appreciated.

      billybuc, way to go Bev! Keep it up with taking care of your health and thanks for reading and commenting.

      Vellur, temptations can be tough. I've noticed when I've eaten clean for a long stretch that when I fall to temptation the food just doesn't taste as good. It almost has a chemical taste to it. Keep up the great work and cheers to your health. :)

      livingabroad, on your beer question. There are some companies that have managed to reduce the carb content in beer. One is Michelob's Ultra and Budweiser now has created a Select, Light. They don't have the full flavor of regular beer, but they are actually pretty good and are in fact lower in carb grams. Good luck with your endeavors.

      Efficient Admin, Well, I'm starting to think real sugar is better than artificial sweeteners when comparing health issues. Good luck with staying off the fried stuff. :)

      kelleyward, Thank you so much! Kelley, you have proven yourself as a well informed 'nutritionist' for diabetics and those on a gluten-free diet. Your nursing background and research on foods has certainly added to your credibility. Thanks for your wonderful testimony on how staying clear of sugar and flour has helped keep your tummy trimmer. Let's not talk about age. haha Thanks for the tweet.

      taifonso, you are absolutely right. Artificial sweeteners don't help. Thanks for the reminder.

    • talfonso profile image


      7 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

      You forgot about artificial sweeteners - they, like the refined sugar, cause belly fat. I now use Stevia in my lemonade - it makes me enjoy drinking water than soda.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is a very useful and informative hub MissOlive. I think refined sugars are definitely a problem and ever since I was diagnosed with diabetes I've cut back on sugars and flour and noticed how much easier it has been to keep extra fat off my stomach. Although age makes this a difficult tasks your suggestions are very helpful. Sharing this on twitter! Take care, Kelley

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Michelle Dee 

      7 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      I always use real sugar in my coffee every morning. It's like if I can't use real sugar I might as well not drink coffee at all. It's a bad habit to break. So is fried chicken and french fries ha ha.

    • livingabroad profile image


      7 years ago from Wales, UK

      A well written and very informative hub! I'm a bit of a sucker when it comes to beer, but can you tell me how much a low carb beer contains compared to the normal ones? I'm thinking it's just a huge marketing ploy to make you think you are healthy even when your drinking alcohol!

      Up and useful

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      7 years ago from Dubai

      I avoid these things most of the time, but temptations get in my way!! Useful and a healthy hub.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Bev has managed to eliminate all of these from my normal food intake so I'm well on the way to a slimmer body....I hope.

      Great suggestions and information!

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 

      7 years ago from Chennai, India

      Thank you for alerting me about the list of food items(except alcohol- I & my family don't drink them at all) mentioned above that cause belly-fat. I decided to avoid white sugar and those food items made with white flour. I admit that I used to enjoy eating fancy savory snacks bought from bakery shops or cafes and now I learnt that they are made of bleached flour which tend to create belly fat, thanks to your informative hub! A well-advised and helpful hub! Well-done!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Interesting. Voted up & Socially Shared

    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I really like french fries! But you're right - I have limited my intake. Great Hub. Voted up.

    • BRIAN SLATER profile image

      Brian Slater 

      7 years ago from England

      Great hub missolive, with sound information, we all know the foods we shouldn't eat, cakes, biscuits, beer and chips but these are the foods we search out. It's more in the mind I think getting yourself set, so you only eat the good stuff takes will power and that is why many succumb after a few days absence. I'm on a mini-diet at the moment and have cut out all the items on your list so hopefully I will look good in my new swim trunks in a few weeks time. :)

    • ThoughtSandwiches profile image


      7 years ago from Reno, Nevada


      Alas, refined sugar seems to be my nemeses with Mountain Dew being the missile that delivers it. I am currently three days drinking only water and (some) crystal light. I already feel better!



    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 

      7 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      I really like eating... but I guess that is why I have always rode the roller coaster rides of weight loss. Ironically though, my body likes to stay were it is so I see a lot of plateaus when I am working on my weight. But, there is one thing true. I do love my processed foods. Right now, I am going to struggle because there is a lot of BBQs for the summer and that always means wine and beer. Ugh! There is always a challenge. But I must say, eating clean is really difficult to do! :) Great hub!

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      7 years ago from Texas

      drbj, thank you very much. I'm honored that you think so. Lol yes, learning can be a dangerous thing but apparently dark chocolate is not ;)

      Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and read.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      7 years ago from south Florida

      Excellent article, Marisa. I was fine about cutting down on chocolate. Then I learned dark chocolate was actually good for you. Especially with nuts. A little learning is a dangerous thing!

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Austinstar, It is so hard to break old habits and to retrain our taste buds. French fries :/

      Thank you for stopping by.

    • Austinstar profile image


      7 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

      Oh all these foods used to "Get in my belly!" Now I really try not to eat this stuff. It's like quitting smoking only harder to do. We have to eat, no one has to smoke. Oh well, we really do need to make better choices. Say la vie, french fries :-(


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