Extra-Belly-Fat Blues?

Increased levels of belly fat can decrease levels of vitamin D. Here's how to ensure your diet is full of vitamin D-rich foods.

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There are numerous adverse associations to carrying extra pounds, especially around the belly, and now decreased levels of vitamin D is one of them. Researchers at the European Society of Endocrinology (ECE) have presented data linking increased levels of belly fat with low levels of vitamin D. Sufficient levels of vitamin D are essential for building strong and healthy bones, improved cognitive health and in application to reduce skin ailments like psoriasis. 

THE FINDINGS: Determining your risk depends on your gender: Women who carry more belly fat are more likely to suffer from decreased levels of vitamin D, whereas men with more fat around the liver are more likely to be at risk, according to Rachida Rafiq and her colleagues from the VU University Medical Center and Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands. 

CONSIDER: If you are concerned about extra pounds around the belly, get your vitamin D level checked. To ensure that your diet is full of vitamin D–rich foods, choose fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines, milk or fortified cereals. For a recipe rich in vitamin D, check out our recipe for Sardine & Cherry Tomato Spaghetti with Orange Breadcrumbs.

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