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Want to Live Longer? Lose the Belly Fat!

It is a fact that extra body fat can cause more than just self-esteem issues. It not only creates lack of energy, but it also poses serious risk factors for your overall health, as well. But first, one must understand that there are three types of fat in the adult body. First of all, we have fat in the bloodstream known as triglycerides, subcutaneous fat which is the fat just beneath the skin’s surface, and omentum fat which is the fatty layer of tissue located inside the belly where it lies beneath the muscles in your stomach. This is why some men with beer guts have rock hard bellies—their fat is under their muscles. Some people refer to this issue as a beer gut, but they are also known as belly fat, love handles, beach ball belly, or the spare tire. Doctors, on the other hand, refer to it as intra-abdominal adiposity (IAA) or visceral fat.

Why is omentum fat dangerous?

Now, did you know that belly fat is primarily comprised of omentum fat, otherwise known as visceral fat? It is the unhealthiest fat of all and must not be mistaken with subcutaneous fat, which is the fat that you can easily pinch. Doctors agree that omentum fat is the least desirable when it comes to supporting good health, which is why they wholeheartedly encourage people to lose belly fat to promote better health.

Omentum fat is the fat that is closest to your organs. In fact, it is their best energy source. The fat released from omentum fat rapidly travels to the liver, unlike the fat in other areas such as on your thighs. This processed material goes directly into the arteries, and this is why it is linked to health hazards such as high LDL, or bad cholesterol. Subcutaneous fat, on the other hand, does not mess up the number of substances that travel into the blood supplied to your organs.

The fact of the matter is the more omentum fat one has, the less adiponectin one produces. For the uninitiated, adiponectin is an inflammation-reducing chemical that is related to the hormone leptin, which controls hunger. Furthermore, visceral fat has been associated with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and other serious health issues.

How do you know if you’re in danger?

Many people wonder how much belly fat is bad. As a rule of thumb, just measure your waist across your belly button and take note of the total inches. The number should be about half your height or less. Let us say you are five feet and ten inches tall, or 70 inches tall. Half of 70 inches is 35 inches, so your waist should be 35 inches around or less. This is your trunk adipose—that is to say, belly fat—measurement.

So the reality is that even though your vanity might disagree, the fat on your thighs does not matter as much to your health as how much omentum fat you have in your belly area. It goes without saying that omentum fat, which is typical of those with an “apple” body shape, is significantly more harmful than the subcutaneous fat around your arms or thighs, as a characteristic on a “pear” shaped body.

Anyone can have belly fat, but it is especially prevalent in post-menopausal women. Even those who juice every day, exercise, eat raw and organic fruits, and vegetables have to deal with unsightly belly fat. In fact, even people who are thin can have ugly belly fat. Toxins that build up in your body cause that muffin top that you cannot stand to look at in the morning, and nobody’s exempt.

What can you do about it?

Indeed, it is easy enough to see why belly fat loss is something that women, men, and even teens would love to get rid of. After all, there is nothing worse than looking at your reflection only to see a hideous roll of belly fat spilling over the top of your jeans. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts when it comes to losing omentum fat. A healthy diet that is rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats but low in sodium, sugar, and carbohydrates is a must. So are regular cardiovascular and strength training exercises.

Suffice it to say, although you might view losing omentum and visceral fat as beneficial to your vanity, the real benefit is to your overall health.

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