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Why is belly fat so dangerous?

If you store more fat in your belly than in your hips, your cells are likely to be resistant to insulin which puts you at high risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and premature death. In one study, researchers measured insulin resistance and compared it to several risk factors for diabetes in men and women: 1) heart-lung fitness; 2) whole-body fatness and 3) abdominal obesity (Diabetes Care, March 2006). They showed that lack of physical fitness and overweight are very significant predictors of diabetes in men and women and that the single most important measure of insulin resistance is storing fat in the belly rather than the hips.

Storing fat in your belly causes you to store excess fat in your liver, which interferes with its function of removing insulin from your bloodstream after it has done its job of driving sugar into cells. When your blood sugar rises after meals, your pancreas is supposed to release enough insulin to keep it from rising too high. If your cells cannot respond to insulin adequately, you are called insulin resistant, your blood sugar rises too high and your pancreas releases huge amounts of insulin. When your blood sugar rises too high, sugar sticks to cells. Once there, the sugar cannot get off the cells and is eventually converted to a poison called sorbitol that destroys the cells to damage nerves, arteries and other tissues throughout your body. Excess insulin acts on your brain to make you eat more and on your arteries to cause heart attacks.
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How to get rid of belly fat

Checked 2/15/15

May 11th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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