The Dangers of Belly Fat

March 08, 2012

There are more serious concerns about those extra inches around your waist than buttoning your jeans. Belly fat is not limited to the extra layer of padding known as subcutaneous fat, it also includes visceral fat. Visceral fat exists deep inside the abdomen and surrounds internal organs. An excessive amount of visceral fat produces hormones and other substances that can raise blood pressure, negatively alter good and bad cholesterol levels and damage the body's ability to process insulin. It also increases the risks of breast cancer and colorectal cancer. Research has concluded that a calorie-controlled diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, beans, nuts, lean meat, fish, eggs, and poultry provides the nutrients you need while reducing your waistline. Additionally, a study published in 2004  in The New England Journal of Medicine found that liposuction removal of subcutaneous fat on 15 obese patients had no effect on the levels of their blood sugar, blood pressure, response to insulin, or cholesterol levels, while weight loss through exercise and diet spurred positive health changes.  Taken together, these studies should convince you that diet and exercise is the way to rid yourself of the extra padding on your waistline! There are a few specific foods that will help you get rid of your belly fat:
  • Whole grains. Recently, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicated that a calorie-controlled diet rich in whole grains reduced fat from the waistline of obese subjects.In the study,  participants who ate whole grains,  five servings of fruits and vegetables, three servings of low-fat dairy, and two servings of lean meat, fish, or poultry lost more weight from the abdominal area than another group that ate the same diet, with refined grains instead of whole grains.
  • Apples. A Brazilian weight study found that subjects who ate three apples a day while dieting lost more weight than those who didn't. Apples contain pectin, a compound that is known to inhibit colon cancer, are packed with nutrients and are a rich source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, dietary fiber, phytosterol, flavonoids, and antioxidants.
  • Watermelon. The University of Kentucky conducted a study where watermelon was found to have a significant effect on artery plaque deposition because it altered blood lipids and lowered the risk of developing belly fat.
  • Seafood. Eating seafood can result in a slimmer waist and better health. Seafood  contains monounsaturated fat, which various studies have indicated can prevent belly fat when included as regular part of a nutritional regimen.
To lose weight and keep it off, eat a healthy, controlled-calorie diet and get regular exercise.  Include a cardiovascular routine and Peter's ab workout in your fitness program to target that belly fat! Rein in that belly fat!  It's an important first toward a healthy and attractive body.

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