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Beat Belly Bloaters this Holiday Season

Beat Belly Bloaters this Holiday SeasonNot all fat is created equal.

The type of fat that accumulates around your mid-section, also known as visceral fat, is more dangerous than other types of body fat. This type of belly fat increases risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

But can you beat belly fat? Well, a new book aims to do just that. Thanks to a copy provided by the authors, I recently reviewed the Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies (Wiley, 2014).

Written by 3 Registered Dietitians (Erin Palinski-Wade, Tara Gidus, and Kristina LaRue), the premise of the book is how to cook to avoid the biggest dietary contributors to belly fat, or what the authors call “The Belly Bloaters”, which include:

  • Sugar alcohols
  • High sodium foods
  • Refined carbohydrates
  • Processed meats
  • Carbonated beverages & soda
  • Alcohol

In addition to over 100 unique recipes, this book includes great information on assessing your personal belly fat health risk, from measuring your body mass index (BMI) to your own waist circumference. There are tips on reducing insulin response, stress hormones, and how to identify belly blasting superfoods.

My personal favorite was the chapter on “Brown-Bag Lunches”. When it comes to lunch, I tell my clients and students (and anyone else who will listen), “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Even the most well-intentioned of meal plans falls apart at lunch time if you don’t bring your own!

Here’s my favorite brown bag lunch recipe from the Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies, “Curried Couscous”. It’s quick, cheap, filling, and best of all – a belly fat buster!

Curried Couscous

from the “Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies”

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 1/3 cups whole wheat couscous, dry
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Honeycrisp apple, diced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 tablespoons 100% orange juice

Directions

  • In a medium pot, place the chicken broth and curry powder and bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous; cover. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Pour the couscous in a large bowl. Stir in the curry powder until blended.
  • Add the parsley, apple, raisins, bell pepper, and orange juice. Stir until all the ingredients are incorporated.

Nutrition Information

  • 381 calories
  • 31 mg sodium
  • 83 g carbohydrate
  • 8 g dietary fiber
  • 14 g protein

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