It might seem strange to follow a post about our society’s unhealthy emphasis on thinness with a post about the dangers of belly fat, but the truth is, we need to find a balance that will allow for both a healthy body and a healthy self image.
No matter what we might call it, spare tire, pot belly or beer keg, having excess fat in your abdominal area is never a good thing. As a matter of fact, it presents a very serious danger.
Health Risks of Belly Fat
Belly fat is not like the fat on other parts of your body. It is far more serious. When you have excess belly fat it increases your risk for things such as:
• Cardiovascular disease
• Breast cancer
• Sleep apnea
• Metabolic syndrome
The fat that rests between your skin and abdominal wall is known as subcutaneous fat. The next layer of fat, the fat that surrounds your internal organs is known as visceral fat. Visceral type of fat is nothing to play with. It is biologically active and can produce an excess of hormones.
Researchers often describe it as an active organ in the body that creates hormones and inflammatory substances.
Belly fat turns into fatty acids that can get into the liver and muscle of the body, according to Lewis Kuller, MD, DPH.
This type of drainage causes various changes, such as, an increase in bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
Along with this reaction, insulin stops being as effective in controlling blood sugars, which, results in insulin resistance. Insulin resistance often leads to Type 2 Diabetes and other conditions such as, heart disease.
Belly Fat In Men
One of the reasons men are more likely to have heart disease is because they tend to collect more belly fat than women, and, also earlier in life.
One study showed that too much belly fat in men is a risk for “all-cause mortality”, which means death from any kind of cause.
Too much belly fat in men has also been linked to erectile dysfunction in men over age 60.
Belly Fat In Women
The hormonal imbalance caused by belly fat, can also leads to breast cancer in women, where the risk is 1/3 higher than that in women without it.
It can also cause inflammation in the body. And if you know anything about inflammation you know it is the cause of a variety of different health conditions and diseases.
According to one Danish study, women are five times more likely to die from heart disease when they have lots of belly fat, large waists and high levels of fat in the blood stream.
Also, women with a lot of belly fat are more likely to require gallstone surgery.
Central obesity, where the belly is larger than the hips also interferes with fertility.
What Causes Belly Fat?
There are a lot of different factors that can cause someone to have an excess of belly fat. One such factor is genetics. If your parents have a lot of belly fat you are more likely to have belly fat as well. The sad truth is it can move down from generation to generation.
Hormones also play a huge role. For example, after a woman goes through menopause the hormonal changes that take place can cause fat to gather in the belly.
How to Fight Belly Fat
Don’t let your guard down! Be careful with both what you eat and the quantities that you eat.
Make sure you are filling your body with nutritious food that will build health and not add empty calories to pad your waistline.
Always be careful to eat only what your body needs and forego that extra helping.
Find a balance of rest and activity that will enable you to maintain a healthy weight, especially if you are vulnerable to weight gain due to stress or hormones.
The dangers of belly fat are real, but can be avoided through determination to live a healthy, balanced life.
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