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Biz Markie, known for classic rap song ‘Just a Friend,’ dies

Born Marcel Theo Hall, the rapper-DJ died peacefully Friday evening with his wife by his side, according to a representative.

LOS ANGELES — Biz Markie, a hip-hop staple known for his beatboxing prowess, turntable mastery and the 1989 classic “Just a Friend,” has died. He was 57.

Markie’s representative, Jenni Izumi, said the rapper-DJ died peacefully Friday evening with his wife by his side. The cause of death has not been released.

“We are grateful for the many calls and prayers of support that we have received during this difficult time,” Izumi said in a statement. “Biz created a legacy of artistry that will forever be celebrated by his industry peers and his beloved fans whose lives he was able to touch through music, spanning over 35 years. He leaves behind a wife, many family members and close friends who will miss his vibrant personality, constant jokes and frequent banter.”

Markie, who birth name was Marcel Theo Hall, became known within the rap genre realm as the self-proclaimed “Clown Prince of Hip-Hop” for lighthearted lyrics and a humorous nature. He made music with the Beastie Boys, opened for Chris Rock’s comedy tour and was a sought-after DJ for countless star-studded events.

The New York-native’s music career began in 1985 as a beat boxer of the Juice Crew, a rap collective he helped Big Daddy Kane join. Three years later, he released his debut album “Goin’ Off,” which featured underground hits “Vapors” and “Pickin’ Boogers.”

Markie broke into mainstream music with his platinum-selling song “Just a Friend,” the lead single on his sophomore album “The Biz Never Sleeps.” The friend-zone anthem cracked Rolling Stone’s top 100 pop songs and made VH1’s list of 100 greatest hip-hop songs of all time.

Markie, who released five total studio albums, consistently booked more than 175 shows a year, according to the rapper’s website. He’s appeared on television shows including “In Living Color” and the 2002 movie “Men in Black II,” which had him playing an alien parody of himself in the film starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.

Markie also taught the method of beatboxing in an episode of the children’s show “Yo Gabba Gabba!”

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This post originally posted here CBS8 – Entertainment

The government wants Norway to become better known as a food nation

The Norwegian government wants to strengthen Norway’s international reputation as a food nation. Therefore, it is organizing a conference with the industry to find inspiration and get good advice.

By 2030, food culture should be a visible element in Norway’s tourism offer, the government’s vision for Norway as a food nation states.

“Norway has unique and world-class drink and food treasures that more people should experience. We have invited a wide range of actors who will provide views and inspiration on how to continue the work regionally to make Norway an internationally recognized food nation,” Minister of Agriculture and Food Olaug Bollestad (KrF) noted.

She invited industry players to a digital conference on August 31, where sector representatives will be able to discuss national and regional developments.

The key topics are as follows:

* How the blue and green food sectors can work better together and take advantage of their advantages.

* Strengthen cooperation around food, diet, and enjoyment of meals in the population.

* Build strong food and tourism regions.

* Increase recruitment to the food industry.

In addition to Bollestad, the Minister of Fisheries and Seafood, the Minister of Health and Care Services and the Minister of Trade and Industry will participate.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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Popular drink known for its anti-inflammatory properties could reduce arthritis symptoms

Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that causes pain and swelling in the joints, which can restrict mobility and damage the joints. Arthritis medications are usually effective, though some people also look to alternative treatments to relieve their symptoms, including apple cider vinegar.

A lot of patients use home remedies for arthritis, including apple cider vinegar (ACV), to reduce their reliance on pain medication, said eMediHealth.

The health site added: “If anecdotal evidence is to be believed, ACV may exhibit anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce joint inflammation and pain, but this is yet to be verified by science.

“It may also speed up weight loss, which is another major plus for people with arthritis.

“Excessive body weight not only makes one more prone to arthritis, but it can also exacerbate the condition once it occurs.”

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Apple cider vinegar’s health claims have been well documented since ancient times.

Centuries later, a British nurse, Margaret Hills, who developed rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and later osteoarthritis in the early 1960s, popularised using apple cider vinegar specifically to manage arthritis symptoms.

Hills claimed that consuming apple cider vinegar helped her to lead a pain-free life.

She promoted the approach in a book and later established a clinic promoting apple cider vinegar’s effectiveness at helping to treat arthritis and the symptoms associated with the condition.

How to use

Applying apple cider vinegar to affected areas of the skin may help treat psoriatic arthritis, said Dr Nicole Avena, an assistant professor of neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a visiting professor of health psychology at Princeton University in New Jersey.

She added: “Always start off with diluted ACV, mixing equal parts vinegar and warm water, to make sure your skin or scalp can tolerate it.

“Be especially careful when applying ACV near an open wound.

Gently pat it on with a cloth, using just a few tablespoons.

“ACV can help change the affected area’s pH levels to lessen flaking.”

The most common way of using apple cider vinegar as a treatment for various ailments is by drinking it.

However, vinegar is highly acidic, and it’s advised that before consuming, dilute it with water to prevent damage to your teeth.

Another recommended use for this product as an arthritis treatment is to apply it topically for local pain relief, said Healthline.

The site continued: “Using a cotton ball, apply vinegar to the affected area twice a day.

“To prevent irritation, consider diluting the solution with an oil such as coconut oil or olive oil and massage it into your skin. If you notice an adverse reaction, stop using it immediately.

“Many people believe that adding apple cider vinegar to your bath before bed can also help to relieve arthritis pain.

“Add one cup of the vinegar to your evening bath and sit in the solution for 20 to 30 minutes. This can help reduce overnight stiffness and swelling.”

Author: Jessica Knibbs
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: Health
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Vitamin B12 deficiency: Peculiar symptom in the eyes known as blepharospasm – what is it?

Vitamin B12 deficiency signs can be nondescripts as many sufferers could have been lacking the vital nutrient for so long, they have become used to their unusual symptoms. The face holds many clues as to one’s health including this lesser-known warning sign found in your eyes.

Almost everyone has experienced eye twitching or, more accurately, eyelid twitching.

The medical term for this uncomfortable sensation is eyelid myokymia or also blepharospasms.

The most common form of eyelid twitching is when the lower eyelid of one eye starts to jump, flicker or quiver sporadically and uncontrollably, usually every few seconds for a minute or two.

Sometimes the upper eyelid can twitch rather than the lower eyelid.

Both eyes can be affected, but not usually at the same time.

READ MORE: Blood pressure pills recalled after discovery of chemical that’s linked to risk of cancer

Blepharospasm is a rare condition that causes your eyelid to blink or twitch.

A person can’t control it and is also called involuntary blinking or twitching.

The twitching is caused by a muscle spasm around your eye.

Serious reasons might include neurological diseases and affects women more than men.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can result in various neurological syndromes: neuropathy, myelopathy, dementia, cerebellar ataxia, optic atrophy and mood disturbances.

Movement disorders are not usually the features of B12 deficiency in the adults.

Whereas infants, with B12 deficiency can present with chorea, tremor, twitches, myoclonus and other abnormal movements.

A study which was published in Peirson Center, looked at a 51-year-old male presented with three months history of difficulty to keep eyes open.

Physical examination was normal, including blood pressure.

Neurological examination revealed bilateral blepharospasm grade 3 (severity, frequency) on the 0–4 Jankovic Rating Scale.

A clinical diagnosis of blepharospasm secondary to B12 deficiency was made and he was initiated on intramuscular cyanocobalamin 1mg daily for 10 days and then weekly, no other medications were prescribed.

An eye twitch could be a sign of vitamin B12 deficiency, according to Thyroid Patient Advocacy.

This usually occurs in one eye or the other and can appear even in “borderline” vitamin B12 deficiency.

It advises: “It can occur on the eyelid or just below the eye.”

A person’s eyes contain a lot of nerves, so when our body lacks Vitamin B12 it starts twitching.

This one of the initial symptoms of nutrient deficiency and can occur even when vitamin B12 levels are just slightly lower than normal.

Author: Jessica Knibbs
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed
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Charles Grodin, actor known for 'Heartbreak Kid,' 'Beethoven,' dies at 86

Charles Grodin, the droll, offbeat actor and writer who scored as a caddish newlywed in “The Heartbreak Kid” and later had roles ranging from Robert De Niro’s counterpart in the comic thriller “Midnight Run” to the bedeviled father in the “Beethoven” comedies, has died. He was 86.Grodin died Tuesday in Wilton, Connecticut, from bone marrow cancer, his son, Nicholas Grodin, said.

Known for his dead-pan style and everyday looks, Grodin also appeared in “Dave,” “The Woman in Red,” “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Heaven Can Wait.” On Broadway, he starred with Ellen Burstyn in the long-running 1970s comedy “Same Time, Next Year,” and he found many other outlets for his talents.In the 1990s, he made his mark as a liberal commentator on radio and TV. He also wrote plays and television scripts, winning an Emmy for his work on a 1997 Paul Simon special, and wrote several books humorously ruminating on his ups and downs in show business.

Actors, he wrote, should “think not so much about getting ahead as becoming as good as you can be, so you’re ready when you do get an opportunity. I did that, so I didn’t suffer from the frustration of all the rejections. They just gave me more time.” He spelled out that advice in his first book, “It Would Be So Nice If You Weren’t Here,” published in 1989.

Grodin became a star in the 1970s, but might have broken through years earlier: He auditioned for the title role in Mike Nichols’ “The Graduate,” which came out in 1967. But the part for what became a classic went instead to Dustin Hoffman.

Grodin did have a small role in “Rosemary’s Baby” and was part of the large cast of Nichols’ adaptation of “Catch-22 before he gained wide notice in the 1972 Elaine May comedy “The Heartbreak Kid.”

He starred as a Jewish newlywed who abandons his comically neurotic bride to pursue a beautiful, wealthy blonde played by Cybill Shepherd. The movie was a hit and Grodin received high praise. He commented: “After seeing the movie, a lot of people would approach me with the idea of punching me in the nose.”

In the next few years, Grodin played in a lavish 1976 film remake of “King Kong” as the greedy showman who brings the big ape to New York. (The World Trade Center replaced the Empire State Building in the climax.) He was Warren Beatty’s devious lawyer in “Heaven Can Wait,” and Gene Wilder’s friend in “The Woman in Red” (Less successfully, he appeared in May’s 1987 adventure comedy “Ishtar,” a notorious flop).

In 1988s “Midnight Run,” Grodin was a bail-jumping accountant who took millions from a mobster and De Niro was the bounty hunter trying to bring him cross-country to Los Angeles. They’re being chased by police, another bounty hunter and the Mob, and because Grodin is afraid of flying, they are forced to go by car, bus, even boxcar.

“Beethoven” brought him success in the family-animal comedy genre in 1992. Asked why he took up such a role, he told The Associated Press he was happy to get the work.”I’m not that much in demand,” Grodin replied. “It’s not like I have this stack of wonderful offers. I’m just delighted they wanted me.”

Amid his film gigs, Grodin became a familiar face on late-night TV, perfecting a character who would confront Johnny Carson or others with a fake aggressiveness that made audiences cringe and laugh at the same time.

“It’s all a joke,” he told The Los Angeles Times in 1995. “It’s just a thing. It was a choice to do that.”

His biggest stage success, by far, was “Same Time, Next Year,” which opened on Broadway in 1975 and ran nearly 3 years. He and Burstyn were two people who – though each happily married – meet in the same hotel once a year for an extramarital fling. Beyond the humor, the play won praise for deftly tracing the changes in their lives, and in society, from the 1950s to the ’70s. Critic Clive Barnes called Grodin’s character “a monument to male insecurity, gorgeously inept.”

After 1994’s “My Summer Story,” Grodin largely abandoned acting. From 1995 to 1998, he hosted a talk show on CNBC cable network. He moved to MSNBC and then to CBS’ “60 Minutes II.”

In his 2002 book, “I Like It Better When You’re Funny,” he said too many TV programmers’ believe that viewers are best served “if we hear only from lifelong journalists.” He argued that “people outside of Washington and in professions other than journalism” also deserved a soapbox.

He returned to the big screen in 2006 as Zach Braff’s know-it-all father-in-law in “The Ex.” More recent credits include the films “An Imperfect Murder” and “The Comedian” and the TV series “Louie.”

Grodin was born Charles Grodinsky in Pittsburgh in 1935, son of a wholesale dry goods seller who died when Charles was 18. He played basketball and later described himself as “a rough kid, always getting kicked out of class.”He studied at the University of Miami and the Pittsburgh Playhouse, worked in summer theater and then struggled in New York, working nights as a cab driver, postal clerk and watchman while studying acting during the day.

In 1962 Grodin made his Broadway debut and received good notices in “Tchin Tchin,” a three-character play starring Anthony Quinn. He followed with “Absence of a Cello” in 1964.

He co-wrote and directed a short-lived 1966 off-Broadway show called “Hooray! It’s a Glorious Day … and all that.” That same year, he made his movie debut in a low-budget flop called “Sex and the College Girl.”

In 1969, Grodin demonstrated his early interest in politics by helping write and direct “Songs of America,” a TV special starring Simon and Garfunkel that incorporated civil rights and antiwar messages. But the original sponsor pulled out and Simon later called the little-noticed effort “a tragedy.”

Simon returned with a special in 1977 that spoofed show business and featured Grodin as the show’s bumbling producer. Grodin and his co-writers won Emmys.

Grodin and his first wife, Julia Ferguson, had a daughter, comedian Marion Grodin. The marriage ended in divorce. He and his second wife, Elissa Durwood, had a son, Nicholas.

Copyright © 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Author: AP

This post originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed

The earliest known human burial in Africa was a carefully laid down child

Africa is widely regarded as the place where modern Homo sapiens emerged. But scientists still know relatively little about the funerary practices of early humans who lived there. Now, researchers have documented one more burial site—and it’s the oldest to date on the continent.

Archaeologists uncovered the 78,000-year-old funerary site at Panga ya Saidi, a cave near the Kenyan coast. There, researchers found the remains of a boy, about three years of age, who was gently laid to rest. They named him Mtoto, the Swahili word for child. Based on analysis of the remains, scientists concluded that Mtoto was likely set down curled up on his side. He was then probably wrapped in some sort of shroud and given a pillow (both of which later decayed), before being covered with soil. The findings were published in Nature

Virtual reconstruction of the Panga ya Saidi hominin remains at the site (left) and ideal reconstruction of the child's original position at the moment of finding (right)
Virtual reconstruction of the Panga ya Saidi hominin remains at the site (left) and ideal reconstruction of the child’s original position at the moment of finding (right).
Jorge González/Elena Santos/Max Planck Society

Mtoto was actually first discovered in 2013, but the remains were so fragile that the bones disintegrated upon excavation. Archaeologists had to get creative in order to get samples to the lab. First they dug around the area and encased the grave in plaster. Then they lifted it all to the National Museum in Nairobi before taking samples to a specialist lab in Spain. They found bones and teeth, as well as some stone tools. 

The care that Mtoto evidently received indicates to archaeologists that this was some sort of cultural, meaningful burial—as opposed to a simple disposal of the dead you might see in earlier human relatives or animals. It’s a demonstration of intentional, symbolic, and complex social behavior, the study authors argue.

“Humans, unlike chimps, began to develop complex belief systems around death,” said archaeological scientist and study co-author Nicole Boivin to The Guardian. But funerary practices can vary so widely, she said, that we can’t necessarily know what exactly this burial signified to people at the time. 

[Related: Laos’s Plain of Jars revealed to be a burial site]

This discovery adds to the very small cohort of known early African burials. Before Mtoto’s discovery, the two earliest African burials discovered were in Egypt and South Africa and are approximately 68,000 and 74,000 years old, respectively. In contrast, archaeologists have documented plenty of human and Neanderthal burials in Europe, some dated as old as 120,000 years. 

The lack of discovered burial sites could be explained by differing cultural practices in humans back then, but could also be due to a scarcity of this kind of field work on the continent. The disparity “almost certainly reflects biases in where research has been done,” Boivin said. “The regions where earlier burials have been found have been much more extensively researched than Africa … despite the fact that Africa is the birthplace of our species.”

Author: Monroe Hammond
This post originally appeared on Science – Popular Science

Fossil 'balls' are 1 billion years old and could be Earth's oldest known multicellular life

Scientists have discovered a rare evolutionary “missing link” dating to the earliest chapter of life on Earth. It’s a microscopic, ball-shaped fossil that bridges the gap between the very first living creatures — single-celled organisms — and more complex multicellular life.

The spherical fossil contains two different types of cells: round, tightly-packed cells with very thin cell walls at the center of the ball, and a surrounding outer layer of sausage-shaped cells with thicker walls. Estimated to be 1 billion years old, this is the oldest known fossil of a multicellular organism, researchers reported in a new study. 

Rapper-actor DMX, known for iconic hip-hop songs, dead at 50

DMX’s record label, Def Jam Recordings, said in a statement that DMX was “nothing less than a giant.”

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — DMX, the raspy-voiced hip-hop artist behind the songs “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” and “Party Up (Up in Here)” who had one of rap’s most distinctive voices — literally and metaphorically — has died, according to a statement Friday from his family. He was 50.

The Grammy-nominated performer died after suffering “catastrophic cardiac arrest,” according to a statement from the hospital in White Plains, New York, where he died. He was rushed there from his home April 2.
His family’s statement said DMX, whose birth name was Earl Simmons, died with relatives by his side after several days on life support.
“Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end. He loved his family with all of his heart, and we cherish the times we spent with him,” the family said, adding that his music “inspired countless fans across the world, and his iconic legacy will live on forever.”
Memorial plans were not yet set.
DMX — who rapped with a trademark delivery that was often paired with growls, barks and “What!” as an ad-lib — built a multiplatinum career as one of rap’s biggest stars of the late 1990s and early 2000s, but he also struggled with drug addiction and legal problems that repeatedly put him behind bars.
“His message of triumph over struggle, his search for the light out of darkness, his pursuit of truth and grace brought us closer to our own humanity,” his record label, Def Jam Recordings, said in a statement describing him as “nothing less than a giant.”
Fellow hip hop artists remembered him likewise, with Eve praising him as “one of the most special people I have ever met” and Nas calling him “Gods poet” in an Instagram post. Chingy recalled touring with DMX and being inspired by his style and struck by how “he always showed me love.”
“He was a true legend to the hip-hop community,” Chingy said in a statement.
DMX made a splash in 1998 with his first studio album, “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot,” which debuted No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The multiplatinum-selling album was anchored by several hits including “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem,” “Get At Me Dog,” “Stop Being Greedy” and “How It’s Goin’ Down.”
DMX followed up with four straight chart-topping albums including “… And Then There Was X,” “Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood,” “The Great Depression” and “Grand Champ.” He released seven albums, earned three Grammy nominations and was named favorite rap/hip-hop artist at the 2000 American Music Awards.
DMX arrived on the rap scene around the same time as Jay-Z, Ja Rule and others who dominated the charts and emerged as platinum-selling acts. They were all part of rap crews, too: DMX fronted the Ruff Ryders collective, which helped launch the careers of Grammy winners Eve and Swizz Beatz, and relaunch The Lox, formerly signed to Bad Boy Records. Ruff Ryders had success on the charts and on radio with its “Ryde or Die” compilation albums.
Along with his musical career, DMX paved his way as an actor. He starred in the 1998 film “Belly” and appeared in 2000′s “Romeo Must Die” with Jet Li and Aaliyah. DMX and Aaliyah teamed up for “Come Back in One Piece” on the film’s soundtrack.
The rapper would later open Aaliyah’s tribute music video, “Miss You,” alongside her other friends and collaborators, including Missy Elliott, Lil’ Kim and Queen Latifah, after Aaliyah’s 2001 death in a plane crash at age 22.
The rapper also starred in 2001′s “Exit Wounds” with Steven Seagal and 2003′s “Cradle 2 the Grave” with Li.
But while DMX made his mark as one of hip-hop’s most recognizable names for his rap artistry and as an actor, the rapper was personally stifled by his legal battles — he was repeatedly arrested and jailed within a decade — and drug addiction. His addiction first took hold at age 14 when smoked a marijuana cigarette that was laced with cocaine.
“You can’t be a fan and not feel empathy for him in his journey,” hip-hop and electronic music producer Flying Lotus said in an interview while DMX was hospitalized this week. “You think of ‘Belly’ and all the great stuff that he was part of. But he was dealt such a weird hand, I think, with the drug stuff. And I just have empathy.”
DMX pleaded guilty in 2004 after he posed as an undercover federal agent and crashed his SUV through a security gate at New York’s Kennedy Airport. He was arrested in 2008 on drug and animal cruelty charges following an overnight raid on his house in Phoenix. He tried to barricade himself in his bedroom but emerged when a SWAT team entered his home.
In 2010, he was sentenced to a year in prison for violating terms of his probation. After he was admitted to rehab numerous times over the next year, he said he had finally beat his drug addiction.
First responders helped bring DMX back to life after he was found in a hotel parking lot in New York in 2016. The rapper said he suffered from asthma.
A couple years later, DMX was sentenced to a year in prison for tax fraud. Prosecutors said he concocted a multiyear scheme to hide millions of dollars in income from the IRS and get around nearly $ 2 million in tax liabilities.
After his release, DMX planned a 32-date tour to mark the 20th anniversary of “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot.” But the rapper canceled a series of shows to check himself into a rehab facility in 2019. In an Instagram post, his team said he apologized for the canceled shows and thanked his fans for the continued support.
Besides his legal troubles, DMX took the initiative to help the less fortunate. He gave a group of Philadelphia men advice during a surprise appearance at a homeless support group meeting in 2017, and helped a Maine family with its back-to-school purchases a couple years later.
Last year, DMX faced off against Snoop Dogg in a Verzuz battle, which drew more than 500,000 viewers.
Survivors include his 15 children and his mother.
RELATED: Prayer vigil held outside NY hospital for rapper DMX
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How to get rid of visceral fat: Green tea contains catechins known to help burn belly fat

High amounts of visceral fat are associated with inflammation and insulin resistance, both of which are strongly linked to several serious diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Much has been reported regarding the health benefits of green tea including its ability to help burn belly fat and get rid of your visceral fat. How?

Health experts have found green tea’s catechins show that although the weight loss effects are modest, a significant percentage of fat lost is harmful visceral fat.

To burn fat, the body must first break it down in the fat cell and move it into the bloodstream.

Animal studies suggest that the active compounds in green tea aid this process by boosting the effects of some fat-burning hormones, such as norepinephrine (noradrenaline).

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In a study with Science Direct, the effects of catechin-enriched green tea and how it could help with visceral fat loss was analysed.

The study also noted that visceral fat, body weight and fat were all reduced significantly in the group consuming the tea.

Even though green tea extract or EGCG supplements can cause a modest increase in metabolic rate and fat burning, its effects are modest when it comes to actual pounds lost.

However, every little bit adds up, and it may work even better when combined with other effective weight loss strategies like eating more protein and cutting carbs.

Its antioxidant content is what gives green tea a lot of its benefits.

Green tea has been found to improve brain function, improve physical performance, lower the risk of some types of cancer, and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Studies have also demonstrated its effectiveness at getting rid of visceral fat.

Green tea contains the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and caffeine, both of which have been shown to boost metabolism.

Meanwhile, you could also reduce your visceral fat by following a low-carb diet, it’s been claimed.

Low-carb diet plans aim to limit the amount of carbohydrates you’re eating, including potatoes, bread, and pasta.

Cutting back on the amount of carbohydrates in your diet has been claimed to reduce belly fat more than simply following a low-fat diet.

Without refined carbohydrates, your body begins to burn fat for fuel, which is ideal for those wanting to lose belly fat.