Understanding the connection between spicy food and belly fat


If you’re trying to keep tabs on your belly fat, you may want to take a look at how much spicy food you consume.

A recent study took aim at better understanding visceral fat. That’s the fat that accumulates in the hollow space in your abdominal cavity where your intestines and your liver are found. When this type of belly fat builds up, it increases your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The association between visceral fat and spicy food intake isn’t well understood, so researchers tried to gain a better understanding of the two by studying a group of people in China.

Researchers divided them up by how often they ate spicy food. Some never ate spicy food, some only ate it only once or twice a week. On the other end of the scale, some ate spicy food up to six or seven times a day/week. Researchers found visceral fat increased with how frequently the subjects ate. It was mediated by higher fat energy intake with those who consumed spicy food more frequently. To burn belly fat, you ideally need to burn more calories than you consume.

You also need to eat the right kinds of food.

This means adding in more fruits and vegetables to your diet, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding adding extra sugar and salt. In other words, a balanced diet is always a good idea, as is adding in some exercise for a healthy body. Of course, there are other studies out there that suggest the many benefits of spicy food, including some showing eating spicy food helps speed up your metabolism and possibly keep off the extra pounds. Like anything else, it’s probably best to eat your spicy food in moderation. Luckily, there are all kinds of way to add a little extra spice to your meal. Your comfort level on the pepper scale is entirely up to you.

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