Belly Fat Linked to Heart Disease

Belly Fat may look funny to some people but it's a serious matter that should be a cause for concern. And it's not only because it makes a person look unsightly, but more importantly it increases the risk of heart disease.

The Study
According to clinical studies, the size of a person's belly is a good predictor of heart disease. If a person has central obesity or excess fat in the abdominal area, he/she is more likely to develop high blood pressure regardless of his/her body mass index than those who have excess fat in other parts of the body. This study was done by Dr. Alfonso Siani and his team of researchers from the National Research Council in Avellino, Italy.

Involved in the study are 700 men aged 25 to 75 years old. All the participants were not taking any medication intended for lowering blood pressure. Their insulin and blood glucose levels were measured after fasting overnight. Their body mass index were also calculated. They also underwent three different blood pressure readings. As for their central obesity, the abdominal circumference (waist to hips) was measured.

The study revealed a link between belly size, age and high blood pressure. Body mass index used to be the key measure in analyzing the risk of heart disease. But the study found that the belly size is a more accurate assessor of risk factors like:
- high blood glucose levels
- low HDL cholesterol
- high LDL cholesterol
- high blood pressure

Lose Belly Fat
Because of these findings, medical experts recommend weight loss particularly to those who are centrally obese. Losing belly fat can be achieved effectively with the regular exercise and proper diet combination. It's a common misconception among those who want to have flat abs that losing belly fat can be done with exercises that target the abdominal area like crunches and sit-ups. This is not true.

Cardio exercises should be the main aspect of your physical workout. These exercises burn the calories and fats that are stored in your belly. Even if you do thousands of crunches a day, if you don't burn the fat hiding within your belly, the muscle pains and backache would be to no avail. Do cardio exercises at least 30 minutes a day and see significant improvement in a few weeks. Be realistic with your expectations. Getting a ripped six pack takes months or even years of intense workout and strict diet.

As for the diet, it's a must to consume sufficient dietary fiber every day. About 25 grams of dietary fiber a day is enough to help the body excrete fat and toxins. Fruits and vegetables should be plentiful in your diet. Avoid foods that are high in fats and sugar. Also, it would be smart to break down your meals into smaller ones. Instead of having three or four large meals a day, it would be better to eat five to six smaller meals. This way, the body won't be forced to release high amount of insulin to assist in the digestion, as this can promote storage of more fat in the belly.

 


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