5 Foods to Avoid in the Summer For Your Belly

In the winter, when temperatures decline, your body turns up its internal furnace to create balance. This makes it possible to digest heavier foods and bigger quantities. In the summer, the exact opposite occurs, which means your body's metabolism slows down and part of the reason why you're not as hungry and feel more lethargic when its warmer out.

We've compiled 5 foods to avoid or at least try to reduce in order to combat dehydration and overloading your digestive system.

1. Charred or BBQ Meats
Animal proteins cooked at high temperatures develop chemicals that can heighten your risk of certain cancers when ingested.

Instead eat grilled veggies, which do not turn into toxins no matter how you cook them.

2. Processed Meats - Hot Dogs
The WHO (World Heath Organization) classifies processed meats in the same category as asbestos and tobacco because it can cause colorectal cancer.

Instead eat an unprocessed chicken breast or fish fillet — fresh, unprocessed proteins tend to be the safest bets.

3. Shellfish
Like fruits and vegetables, shellfish have seasons. Different types of seafood are considered out of season when they're spawning, and during the summer that usually means oysters, clams, and mussels. Harvesting these types of shellfish during this time of year can put their populations at risk, and going with commercially farmed shellfish means you're probably getting it genetically modified.

Instead look for seafood that is in season: flaky white fish such as halibut, mahi mahi and grouper; scallops, salmon, swordfish and tuna.

4. Diet Ice Tea
Beverages and foods with artificial sweeteners provide no nutritional value and lead to dehydration and stomach discomfort. In addition, artificial sweeteners can actually increase your tolerance for sweetness so you want more of it, potentially leading to weight gain and other related health issues in the long run.

Instead just opt for unsweetened iced tea with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, if you prefer.

5. Sugar-Free Ice Cream
Sorbitol and xylitol found in sugar-free ice cream draw water from the intestines, which can result in diarrhea and/or bloating.

Instead opt for gelato, which has fewer calories, less sugar and lower fat content per serving than ice cream.

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