Dr Berit Nordstrand author of The Scandinavian Belly Fat Program believes that eating the right foods will not only decrease your abdominal fat, it will stabilise your blood sugar and decrease your biological age.
AMN: Why are 'diet' products no good for us?
Dr Nordstrand: They are full of artificial sweetener for one thing. We need building blocks and nutrition in our food. With low fat you get high carb and not enough of the smart fats and essential fatty acids that the body needs to absorb nutrients. Without these fatty acids, we lose vitamins, minerals and our gut flora fail to thrive. Also our brain cells need those fatty acids to regenerate.
AMN: Why should we cut back on products with a long shelf life?
Dr Nordstrand: These products have got lots of artificial additives in them and at the same time they have taken away the smart fatty acids.These types of foods are typically less prebiotic which is important for our gut flora. We need more prebiotic foods like honey or organic maple syrup. Enriching gut flora increases the burning of belly fat, stabilises blood sugar levels and increases the immune system.
AMN: Is it hard to cut sugar from your diet?
Dr Nordstrand: No. I'm a specialist in addiction so I have experience in cutting sugar fro peoples diets. The key is to focus on taking small steps, and also not to focus on what you can' teat but rather what you can eat and you enjoy eating. Such as replacing sugar with honey which like I mentioned is a prebiotic and process gut health. Really we should be having no more than 1 teaspoon of sugar a day.
AMN: Why should we include fat into our diets?
Dr Nordstrand: You always need fat with vegetables, not only for taste but also for health. Fat will increase nutrient intake of vegetables such at beta carotene from carrots. Just say you had some sliced tomatoes for breakfast without any olive oil, your body won't absorb as many lycopenes, but add some extra virgin olive oil and the lycopene absorption will increase. It's also important to note that white carbs will slow the burning of belly fat.
AMN: What on the go foods can you recommend?
Dr Nordstrand: In my handbag I keep some dark chocolate, some nuts and a bottle of water. I know that if I get caught out, that will sustain me for a few hours. Other things I like to grab include greek yogurt (preferably with no sugar) although you probably don't want to be carrying that around in your handbag. I also make my own granola to snack on which is sweetened with honey.
Dr. Nordstrand is a Norwegian physician and specialist in clinical pharmacology, devotes her career to the study of how medicine and food work on the body’s receptors. Also certified cognitive therapist, Berit serves as chief consultant in a clinic specializing in addiction medicine.