At puberty boys may have too much chest fat deposited in causing the condition known as gynecomastia. This later resolves itself in most cases. However, it often occurs in men later on and is more common in men who have a tendency to put on weight. Many foods contain phyto-oestrogens which can cause chest fat to be laid down.
Depositing fat around the body is largely a haphazard event, with fat cells randomly distributed according to gender as much as anything else. However, hormones are largely to blame for these fats being deposited in certain places – in the case of women, oestrogen encourages additional fat to be laid down in the breasts, hips, buttocks and thighs while men’s testosterone causes chest fat to be deposited, also depositing fat on the buttocks and the abdomen.
Over 300 plants contain oestrogens which, if eaten in large quantities can cause chest fat to develop. Phyto-oestrogens are divided into different classes, including isoflavins, lignans, saponins, and courmestans. Isoflavins tend to be found in legumes, soy beans and the various soy products, while lignans are present in cereal bran, legumes, and alcohol – most prominently in beer and bourbon.
Oestrogens are also present in flaxseed. The plant structure of saponins is very similar to steroidal hormones oestrogen, progesterone and the various androgens – all of which can cause chest fat to develop. Courmestans, meanwhile, are found in clover and alfalfa. Many of these foods contain more than one class of phyto-oestrogen.
Men who drink large quantities of beer over a period of time, plus eat a diet rich in soya products and include a lot of legumes such as baked beans in their diets are more likely to develop gynecomastia or chest fat than those men whose diets largely avoid these foods. Below is a list of some of the more common foods, containing oestrogen:
- Chick peas
- Mung beans
- Whole grains
- Sesame Seeds and Sunflower Seeds
- Legumes and Beans
- Korean ginseng
- Wild Yam
- Beth Root
- Root Vegetables
- Sonacea family
Many of these foods are present in more than one of the oestrogen-containing group. Foods containing saponins, for example, are thought to interact with the hypothalamus and the pituitary hormones which explain the link between chest fat and oestrogens and the acid/alkaline balance in food. The nerve control for controlling appetite and many other metabolic functions is the hypothalamus. Neurotransmitters, or chemical messengers, are sent out from the hypothalamus to tell you when to eat, how much and, more importantly, what to eat.
One of these neurotransmitters is serotonin which regulates food cravings and your appetite. Another is galanin which affects fat storage: the more galanin your bodies make, the greater amount of fat we store in our bodies, including chest fat. Foods need to be properly broken down in the stomach by the hydrochloric acid there to prevent these problems of acidic food. Where acid waste remains in the body systems, it eventually results in the thyroid gland becoming under-active. This, in turn, affects our body’s metabolism and can result in weight gain.
The hypothalamus undermines your efforts to lose weight: when your body is lacking in energy and you need a boost, it sends its messenger, the neuropeptide, to tell you to eat carbohydrates. Many of the phyto-oestrogens listed above are carbohydrates, so your body is, effectively, sabotaging your efforts to lose chest fat by eating the very foods that can pile it on in susceptible people. From the list above, many of those foods also fall into those foods that contain acids. This is especially true of cereals and grains, cherries, legumes and beans – providing the link between foods that cause the pH of the body can become more acidic and how this can cause the body to store chest fat.