When we think of improving our health and extending our lifetime, we usually think of losing or keeping weight off as an essential first step. But research continues to support the theory that your weight should not be your #1 concern. What should be? Your waistline and belly size in particular. Prior research has already demonstrated that, more than weight, the size of your belly is the number one risk factor for having your first heart attack and/or stroke.
Now research recently published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology, links belly fat to a greater risk of having a 2nd heart attack or stroke (affecting those who have already experienced a heart attack and/or stroke and are trying to prevent another). “Abdominal obesity not only increases your risk for a first heart attack or stroke, but also the risk for recurrent events after the first misfortune,” said Dr. Hanieh Mohammadi of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, in a news release.
The link between belly fat and cardiovascular issues affects men more then women but it should also be said that there is an increasing rate of cardiovascular incidents in women (like heart attacks and strokes) for the past 30 years… and it continues to rise! Women should also know that they have a lower rate of survivability after a cardiovascular incident (with 47% of women dying within 5 years of a heart attack vs 36% of men according to Harvard Health).
The link between belly fat and cardiovascular disease in the recent study was so strong it was found to be independent of other risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, hypertension and body mass index score. The researchers recommend that doctors pay more attention to their patient’s waist size than their weight. Researchers from the study indicate that men with waists over 94 cm (37.6 inches) and women with waists more than 80cm (32 inches) are to be considered high risk.
One reason for this (and why men are particularly affected) is that it also appears that the type of fat matters. Belly fat in general (and especially in men) tends to be more visceral fat (which goes deep and surrounds internal organs). Hip fat (and a greater percentage of belly fat in women) tends to be more subcutaneous and relatively harmless.
At any rate, both men and women need to monitor their waist size and take steps to reduce it.
A healthy diet (especially one that avoids processed and heavily genetically modified foods) is essential as is moderate exercise. Dietary supplements can also assist you in getting the necessary proteins and minerals your body needs for energy and weight loss.
Also, dietary supplements like Turmeric and/or Spirulina can reduce the inflammation caused from toxins once stored deep in belly fat, being released into the blood stream for excretion.
Indeed the weight loss process can overload the body’s normal filtration system as many nasty toxins, like those from plastics and heavy metals, are stored in body fat and released when “burnt off” through exercise or other weight loss means.