Abdominal fat can be most dangerous

Have you managed to stay slim most of your life but found your belly expanding during your more mature years? Are you a man who has developed the so-called beer belly? Or are you a young adult who can’t seem to find the time to exercise?

The average American carries around 30 billion fat cells, according to Women's Health Magazine. Many of those cells reside in the abdomen, which gets most of the blame for health problems because it sits closely to the heart and other vital organs. Also referred to as visceral fat, abdominal fat is dangerous because it’s not just a layer under the surface of the skin; it actually creeps around your internal organs. Abdominal fat presses on your organs, messes up their daily functions and serves them poisons on a consistent basis.

Too much belly fat produces excess hormones, affects cholesterol levels and often leads to insulin resistance, resulting in high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, breast and colorectal cancers, and Type 2 diabetes. According to the Mayo Clinic, a waist measurement of 35 inches or more for women and 40 inches or more for men increases the risk of developing chronic health problems.

Like any other fat you may want to shed, abdominal fat responds to diet and exercise. The Mayo Clinic recommends a plant-based diet supplemented with lean meat and low-fat dairy products, all in smaller portions.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends moderate aerobic exercise for 30 minutes, five days a week and strength training at least twice a week for health maintenance. So, getting rid of the belly fat means you need to step up the fitness regime and go at it longer. To keep weight off permanently, the Mayo Clinic also recommends a slow and steady approach: Do not lose more than two pounds a week.

For those who think liposuction may be an easy way to take away the fat, you should know this strategy is likely to backfire. A study published in May in the journal Obesity by researchers at the University of Colorado found that the fat simply will find other places on your body to settle if you don’t change some of your core lifestyle habits. Consult a highly-rated Boston doctor for specific details on how your diet has been affecting your health.

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