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Home > Health Topics > Weight Control > Where Do You Carry Extra Weight? It Matters, Doctors Say

Where Do You Carry Extra Weight? It Matters, Doctors Say

Visceral fat — fat stored deep in the belly — is the most harmful kind, experts say. Years ago, we didn’t know that where we carry extra weight matters. Now we know it does. Researchers say a large waist size makes you more likely to develop heart disease. Fat around the belly makes you more likely to have a heart attack or a stroke. These are the leading causes of death in diabetics. This type of fat makes it hard for your body to use its own insulin.

Our bodies normally have a certain amount of fat just under the skin. Visceral fat is another layer of fat that is deep within a cavity in the belly. It surrounds the stomach, the liver and the intestines. In fact, this fat is very close to the liver. It is so close that the liver can turn it into cholesterol. From there, this fat goes through the bloodstream. It may collect along the walls of the arteries. This leads the arteries to get hard and narrow (called “atherosclerosis”).

It is not just people with diabetes who are at risk. Deep belly fat is a problem in otherwise healthy adults. It makes it harder for the body to use insulin well, which can lead to insulin resistance. This often results in type 2 diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association suggests you keep total fat to 20 to 30 percent of your total calories, keep saturated fat to less than 7 per - cent and limit harmful trans fats. Read nutrition labels. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, fish or vegetable proteins, and whole grains.



Source: Johns Hopkins University

Good Neighbor Pharmacy Health Connection, May 2018

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