How Belly Fat, Diabetes and Prediabetes Effect Your Heart

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south beach heart program

Belly fat is a sign of high risk for future heart attacks. In The South beach Heart Program, Arthur Agatston discusses prediabetes (metabolic syndrome) and its effect on your heart, as well as ways to reduce your risk.

While you may think being overweight or obese is harmless, it can actually be a major contributor and predictor of heart attacks. To prevent hearts attacks, people need to heed the warning signs their bodies are giving them and work to reverse the damage. This means losing weight, lowering cholesterol, and reversing the effects of diabetes through exercise and natural eating.

Effects of Diabetes

Being diabetic, prediabetic, is harmful to your arteries and can cause heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Overeating will not only cause unsightly body fat, it will increase your chance for potentially fatal heart attacks and stroke.

With insulin resistance, you are able to process insulin, but your cells don’t use them the way they are supposed to. What happens to the sugar? It stays in the arteries longer than usual. As the sugar and fat are stored in the bloodstream, cholesterol deposits form. This is how your risk of heart disease increases.

Belly fat complicates the digestion of sugar by dropping your blood sugar fast, making you crave even more sweets. It is important to eat properly to manage your blood sugar level effectively to reduce the cravings and make weight loss possible.

Are You Prediabetic?

If you suspect you are diabetic or prediabetic, but have not recently been tested by your doctor, there are a few questions that may help you figure it out on your own (with the help of a blood test):
  • Is your waist measurement large (35 or more for females and 40 or more for males)?
  • Are your triglycerides higher than 150?
  • Is your HDL low (less than 50 for females and 40 for males)?
  • Is your blood sugar higher than 130?
  • Do you have a fasting glucose of more than 100 mg?

Reverse Insulin Resistance

A diagnosis of prediabetes is a warning sign for heart attacks. But you can reverse the effects of insulin resistance. According to The South Beach Heart Program:
  • Increase fiber to slow down the digestion of carbs and maintain a level blood sugar
  • Avoid fad diets
  • Increase your metabolism with resistance training and cardio exercises
  • Eat foods close to their natural form, with minimal processing
  • Eat small meals throughout the day
  • When diets and exercise don’t work, consider taking the right medication

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