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Research published in the American Journal of Cardiology recently showed that individuals with increased belly fat face a much higher risk of heart problems such as high triglycerides, increased blood pressure and metabolic syndrome compared to individuals with fat elsewhere in their body.

 How belly fat harms your heart health:

  1. Central adiposity or obesity (belly fat) means there is excessive visceral fat stored around your vital organs. This type of visceral fat is the type that is stored within the abdominal cavity and therefore is also stored around a number of important organs such as the liver, pancreas, and intestines. Fat that builds up around your abdominal organs is linked to a greater risk for metabolic abnormalities than fat that lies under the skin. Central obesity contributes to heart disease and its complications.
  2. An apple body shape makes heart disease more likely. In general, carrying excess weight around your organs (even in healthy weight individuals) puts one at risk for abnormal blood glucose, insulin insensitivity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, stroke, and elevated fatty acids, which increase the risk for other cardiovascular problems. An apple shaped individual will have a greater waist circumference than their pear shaped counterparts (it is a waist size that is larger than your hips). A waist circumference greater than 35 inches for females and greater than 40 inches for males classifies one as an “apple shape”.
  3. Abdominal adiposity releases excess fatty acids into portal circulation, meaning these fatty acids greatly accumulate in the liver. They also accumulate in the heart and other organs. This leads to organ dysfunction, atherosclerosis and widespread inflammation.

Tips for reducing abdominal adiposity and lowering your risk:

  • Lose weight.
  • Increase your level of physical activity.
  • Eat a healthy vegetarian diet.
  • Incorporate intermittent fasting.
  • Talk to a health coach for free to find supplements and other diet and lifestyle changes that can help.
  • If you do have abdominal adiposity, be sure to get tested or other cardiovascular risk factors to lower your risk of a heart attack


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