Belly fat is stubborn and annoying. It affects your physical appearance and poses harmful health risks. Research has shown that extra belly fat is linked to everything from a higher risk for heart disease to increased odds of developing cancer. Moderate physical activity and a diet low in calories, saturated fats and refined carbohydrates can help combat belly fat. Consuming certain foods also can help fight excess abdominal fat.

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1. Whole Grains: Your body digests whole grains slower than refined grains due to the higher amount of fiber contained in whole grains. This helps you feel full longer, eat less and keep your insulin levels low and steady. Study has shown that increasing dietary fiber consumption helps decrease weight and fat gain. Whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal and whole wheat bread, should make up at least half of your daily grain intake.

2. Avocados: Avocados contain high amounts of monounsaturated fat, a type of fat that has several health benefits. Like whole grains, it reduces blood sugar and insulin spikes, which normally trigger your body to store excess abdominal fat.

3. Low fat and Non-fat Diary: Dairy products such as low-fat yogurt and skim milk have an optimal combination of carbohydrates and protein to stabilize insulin levels. In addition, yogurt often contains probiotics that keep your digestive system healthy and decrease stomach bloating.

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4. Nuts: Similar to avocados, nuts contain high amounts of healthy unsaturated fats that may help control blood sugar levels. Certain nuts, such as almonds, contain significant amounts of magnesium, a mineral necessary for maintaining steady blood sugar levels.

5. Citrus Fruits: The vitamin C in citrus fruits may help you burn up to 30 percent more fat during exercise, making these fruits good choices for a pre-workout snack.

6. Soya Beans: Soybeans contain fiber, antioxidants and protein. Snacking on soy products keeps you feeling satisfied longer while their nutrients control insulin and blood sugar levels.

7. Fatty Fish: The idea of consuming fatty fish to fight belly fat may seem counterintuitive. However, this type of fish, which includes salmon, tuna, trout and mackerel, contains healthy unsaturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids may help promote increased metabolism and fat burning, according to an article published in "Fitness Magazine" in June 2006.

8. Cinnamon: Cinnamon improves your ability to metabolize fat and suppresses your appetite, too. It helps keep your blood sugar levels from fluctuating too high, which slows fat-burning, or too low, which makes you feel hungry.

9. Green Tea: Green tea contains antioxidants called catechins. These catechins in combination with the caffeine in green tea may stimulate your metabolism and increase fat burning, helping you lose weight.

This article has contributions of contents from health blogs and websites.