Study: Fat Location Determines Heart Health Risk

You’ve probably heard that excess abdominal fat increases your risk of a number of diseases including cancer, hypertension, and heart disease. But a recent study published earlier this month in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology was the first to use a CT scan to study specifically located fat deposits for direct associations with disease risk – confirming the dangers of belly fat.

In this study, the researchers were looking for the connection between the location of body fat and specific risk factors for heart disease and cancer, to explain why people with similar BMIs but different body types experience varied obesity related health conditions.

A lead author of the study, Caroline S. Fox, MD, MPH, noted, “contrary to previously published studies comparing BMI and waist circumference, the presence of abdominal fat improved the ability to predict for cardiovascular disease, supporting the hypothesis that abdominal fat may partially underlie the association of body fat and heart disease and cancer.”

This is significant in understanding the importance of reducing belly fat when it comes to better health. Because this visceral fat lies deep in your abdomen, surrounding your organs and secreting toxic hormones, it contributes to the thickening of the walls of coronary blood vessels, which increases the chances of having a heart attack.

Your liver also suffers when you have too much belly flab. It has to work that much harder to filter out toxic substances. Women who are apple-shaped are also more likely to get certain cancers such as uterine, colon and breast cancer.

Many people struggle with belly fat and give up the battle with the idea that it is all due to genetics and impossible to fight against. In truth, one of the reasons they aren’t losing fat is because they avoid eating foods with any type of fat, as well as indulging in many sugar laden foods. While unhealthy fats contribute to the skyrocketing obesity rates in America, healthy fats are essential to boosting fat burning, and especially getting rid of excess belly fat.

Be sure to include healthy fats in your diet from foods like:

  • Coconut oil and coconut milk
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Avocados
  • Wild-caught salmon
  • Dark chocolate

belly fatIn addition to including these healthy fats, follow these tips to say goodbye to that stubborn ab flab:

  • Participate in regular exercise, especially high intensity training  that will boost metabolism and reduce fat.
  • Build muscle through strength training exercise such as weight lifting, yoga or pilates
  • Practice meditation or deep-breathing exercises to relieve stress, as stress causes the body to stockpile extra pounds in the gut. When your body thinks a crisis is coming, it deposits fat cells into the belly because it’s the most convenient place to store them.
  • Get plenty of rest. A lack of sleep causes the body to produce more of the hormones that increase appetite. Most people need 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Meditation just before bed and turning off electronics 30-60 minutes before bedtime can help induce a better night’s rest.

-The Alternative Daily


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