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The Fat Around Your Belly Can Kill You

The fat around your belly is dangerous.  It doesn’t just sit there.  It’s biologically active producing hormones and other substances that promote chronic inflammation and negatively impact the way your body handles sugars and fats.  Abdominal fat can kill you – the more of it you have, the greater your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, dementia, cancer and more.  The simplest way to determine if you have too much is with a measuring tape.  Measure your waist from the top of your hipbone around, just above or at your navel.  A waist circumference at or above 102 cm (40 inches) for men and 88 cm (35 inches) for women means your risk of disease is much higher than it should be.

What Can You Do To Minimize Belly Fat? 

Don’t eat more calories than you need.

Don’t spend your day sitting (or at least break up your day with regular periods of activity).

Limit meat, unhealthy fats (trans and saturated), refined grains and sugar, especially from soft drinks.

Eat 100% whole grains and high fibre foods, especially those that are rich in soluble fibre including apples, citrus fruits, peas, beans, lentils, psyllium, oats, chia and flaxseeds.

Season your food with herbs and spices, especially hot peppers of any kind.

Load up on colourful fruits and vegetables.

Don’t smoke.

Lastly, regular exercise is absolutely critical to a healthy waistline and less belly fat.  The ideal program includes both aerobic exercise (like brisk walking, running or cycling) and resistance exercise (strength training or lifting weights).  Both moderate-intensity and vigorous intensity activity reduce abdominal fat.  High intensity intermittent activity (alternating between very vigorous and less vigorous) appears to be particularly effective.  Most importantly, remember this – if you want a healthy lifeline, you need a healthy waistline!

Lessons Learned:

  • Abdominal fat or belly fat is dangerous to your health and significantly increases your risk of disease.  Minimize your risk by exercising regularly, eating healthy foods like whole grains, beans and colourful fruits and vegetables.  Limit unhealthy fats, refined grains and sugar.  Don’t smoke.

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