Saturday, July 2, 2011
at 1:00 PM
Well, recent research has uncovered that when it comes to belly fat, vanity should be the least of your worries. Too much abdominal fat is outright dangerous to your health.
If you are a woman and your waistline is more than 35 inches around, your risk of getting heart disease goes up dramatically. If your waist is less than 35 inches, your risk of heart disease is significantly less.
If you are a man, have 40+ inches on the waist, same deal. Get your waist below 40 inches, your risk for heart disease goes down significantly.
A research paper titled "The Ratio of Waist-to-Hip Circumference, Plasma Insulin Level, and Glucose Intolerance as Independent Predictors of the HDL2 Cholesterol Level in Older Adults" published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that people with smaller waists produced higher levels of HDL cholesterol compared to those with larger waistlines.
HDL cholesterol is the healthy kind of cholesterol to have in your body. It takes LDL cholesterol (the unhealthy one) and transports it to the liver where the LDL is processed and then excreted out of the body.
So the higher the levels of HDL cholesterol in your body, the more LDL cholesterol is cleared from your bloodstream and the less it can reach high levels in your body.
When LDL cholesterol reaches high levels it gets the ball rolling in the process that leads to heart disease.
LDL cholesterol gets lodged in small cracks in the lining of arteries, whereupon it becomes oxidized. Once oxidized the LDL becomes a more dangerous form a lipid and damages surrounding cells. White blood cells come running to the rescue to try and stop the damage … and this is the beginning of what becomes a plaque, a crusty swelling on the lining of the artery. Plaques eventually calcify and become hard and brittle.
The proliferation of plaques along artery walls around the heart is the basic condition of atherosclerosis. When left unaddressed, this condition usually culminates in a heart attack.
Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in Western countries.
By identifying that "the level of HDL2 cholesterol was inversely correlated with the ratio of the waist-to-hip circumference" this research paper has shown us a tangible thing that we can do to improve our health, and live longer.
Losing belly fat and reducing your waistline (35 inches or less for women, 40 inches or less for men) helps your body produce higher levels of HDL cholesterol, which in turn reduces LDL cholesterol levels, and risk of heart attack.
If you could extend your lifespan a decade or two by slimming down and losing a bit of fat … would you?
I think it's a fair trade. Go on. Make the change today.
Andrew Ekman is a stay at home father of three who is always looking for ways middle aged men and women can maintain their health and vitality as they grow older. Andrew is author of the magnificently informative and extremely popular Fat Loss Over 50 Report. To get your free copy of this amazing report, go to www.fatlossover50.com.