Although any form of obesity can produce stress on the heart, a new Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute/Johns Hopkins University study shows that abdominal obesity is a strong predictor of heart disease for people with diabetes, more so than total body weight or BMI.
“Our research examined patients with diabetes, who are considered to have a high risk of developing heart disease already, and found that the shape of their body determined whether they were at a greater risk of developing serious heart disease,” said Brent Muhlestein, MD, co-director of cardiovascular research at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute. “Our study confirms that an apple-shaped body – or a high waist circumference – can lead to heart disease, and that reducing your waist size can reduce your risks.”
So what is abdominal obesity and how can we prevent it?
More than exercise, what you eat matters!
A proper diet is a must if you want to stay away from abdominal obesity. It can indicate that something is going wrong in your system, such as inadequate insulin levels or high stress hormone levels.
These preventive measures can help you correct it and protect your heart health:
- Drink lots of water throughout the day. Water is the best natural resource to throw out waste.
- Remember to eat breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day.
- Eat your food at your own pace and slow down when you eat.
- According to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers found that eating too quickly can double your risk of being overweight. Eating quickly can lead to swallowing air which could cause discomfort and an increase in stomach acid causing acid reflux too
- Keep sugars at a minimum.
- Eat small meals, and space them three or four hours apart.
- Avoid late-night eating.
- Get at least 45 minutes of daily exercise a day.
- Get a proper amount of sleep. 6-8 hours of sleep is best for adults.
- Reduce your fat consumption by using low-fat, lower-calorie substitutes.
- Check your cholesterol frequently.
- Control your weight.