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Belly Fat Equals Health Hazard

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Men usually don’t consider it a big deal to carry a few extra pounds on their frame. However, if those extra pounds are around the middle, then you could be sporting a problem bigger than your waistline. Excess belly fat can affect the health of the rest of your body.

What do you know about belly fat? Well, for men, extra abdominal fat occurs as you age. In women, during child-bearing years, fat accumulates in the hips, thighs and also in the abdomen. For them too, extra belly fat is a concern.

With men, belly fat is usually a result of lifestyle and age. As a person ages, they lose muscle unless something is done to preserve it. After the age of forty, muscle is lost at a faster rate. What replaces that muscle is usually fat. Our lives grow more sedentary and the pounds begin to pack on.

One way to tell if you have too much belly fat (besides your pants) is to take a measurement of your waist-to-hip ratio. Your waist measurement should not be larger than your hip measurement. Your waist measurement is taken at the level of your abdomen above the hipbone. Even without the hip measurement, a waist measurement above forty inches is a sign that you may need to lose a few pounds to come back into a proper waist-to-hip ratio.

When you have extra belly fat you are at greater risk for certain conditions like:

* Diabetes (Type 2)
* Heart disease
* Stroke
* High blood cholesterol
* High blood pressure
* Sleep apnea
* Cancer

These conditions can be treated with proper diet and exercise. Foods which are lower in fat and higher in fiber are more filling. Insoluble fiber helps to clean out your digestive system and takes a bit of fat from your food along with it. Fiber is also instrumental in lowering your blood cholesterol levels.

Stroke is caused when a blood clot or piece of plaque breaks loose and travels to the brain. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains can increase your levels of good cholesterol (HDL). Good cholesterol helps to prevent dangerous plaques from forming in your blood vessels in the first place.

Sleep apnea is the cessation of breathing during the cycle of sleep. Your airway closes off several times during the night. People with sleep apnea often snore a lot as a means of keeping their airway open. Returning to a healthy weight often resolves the situation.

Belly fat is a health concern, especially for men who are more likely to gain weight around the middle. Several conditions can arise from carrying too much belly fat, but they can be dealt with successfully once the weight is lost.

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