7 Stomach-Slimming Selections

While certain foods can make bellies appear bloated and flabby, there are several selections that can give virtually any stomach a leaner, more toned look. To get started, stock your fridge with this ab-flattening fare.

1. Turkey. A lean cut of turkey offers the protein your body craves without the additional calories that come with many processed foods. Just be sure to order low-sodium turkey from the deli counter, and avoid purchasing the packaged kind, which can be loaded with belly-bulging preservatives.

2. Oranges. Instead of drinking a glass of orange juice with your breakfast in the morning, try eating a whole orange instead. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), whole fruit makes people feel fuller than juice does. In addition, a medium orange contains much more fiber than its liquid equivalent, and in several studies, fiber has been shown to reduce belly fat.

3. Popcorn. Whether they're labeled light, fat-free, or regular, most popcorn varieties are healthful. But for flatter abs, it's especially important that your popcorn isn't loaded up with extra butter and salt, either of which could lead to weight gain and bloating. For best results, opt for whole-grain brands with no trans fats.

4. Healthy fats. Certain types of fat, such as omega-6s and trans fats (most often found in baked goods and corn oils), can declare war on your waistline. But monounsaturated fats (found in olive oil, fish, and flaxseed), can have ab-flattening effects. According to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, a diet rich in monounsaturated fats helps people lose small amounts of body fat without reducing their caloric intake.

5. Celery with peanut butter. This children's favorite is often called "ants on a log" when raisins are added, but it can be a great snack for adults, too. Peanut butter in small quantities provides good sugars and quick proteins and can ease your food cravings. The celery is a primarily water-based vegetable, so you can eat as much as you want without feeling guilty.

6. Milk. As it turns out, milk really does do a body good. In fact, studies have shown that drinking three glasses of low-fat or fat-free milk every day can help maintain a healthy weight. If you aren't big on dairy products or don't like the taste of plain milk, try mixing milk into a protein shake or sorbet, or look into soy options. Other dairy products may also help; remember to eat in moderation low-fat or skim versions of cheeses and yogurts.

7. Wine. A growing body of research suggests that drinking a glass of wine with dinner may help you maintain a smaller waistline. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, one 4-ounce glass of red or white wine seems to be the optimal amount. However, moderation is key: Drinking any more alcohol than that could put you at risk for weight gain.