belly fat

  1. Excess belly fat linked to death risk in women

    A deadly case of... muffin top?!?

    Ladies, you KNOW that the muffin top that turned up after menopause is unsightly, so I'm sure that you want it GONE.

    But that's not the only important reason to make that muffin crumble, as new research shows how that extra layer of fat around the middle isn't just a nuisance.

    It could also be DEADLY!

    I'll help you melt away that excess belly fat in a minute, but first, here's what the latest scientific findings have to say.

    The new study confirms how too much fat anywhere on the body is, of course, a risk factor for heart problems... but it ALSO reveals how SOME types of fat are WORSE than others.

    If it's building up around the middle... if you develop the "apple" shape that so many women get after menopause... you could face a higher risk of a deadly heart problem.

    Compared to just BMI alone, a higher waist-to-hip ratio -- a sign of too much fat building up right in the muffin zone -- will increase your risk of a heart attack by 18 percent.

    Guys don't quite have that same risk. A higher hip-to-waist ratio "only" boosts the risk of a heart attack by 6 percent.

    And when you put men and women in head-to-head -- or hip-to-hip -- competition, women with muffin tops are 15 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack than the guys.

    Even going by waist circumference alone -- another sign of fat building up in the wrong places -- the Journal of the American Heart Association study says that women are 7 percent more likely to have a heart attack than men.

    So, what can you do about it?

    The American Heart Association responded to the new study by saying that women should cut the carbs, sugar, and booze.

    No arguments here. That's certainly a good start.

    But you can quit all three of those things and find that stubborn muffin still won't go away.

    There's a simple reason for it, and that's the hormonal changes that hit you after menopause.

    You could have had the perfect shape all your life, but once the estrogen and progesterone levels drop, the fat in your body starts to shift around and hug your hips.

    Eventually, you end up with an "apple" shape -- a.k.a. the dreaded muffin top.

    If you're on the other side of menopause... and have struggled to lose weight even on a sensible diet... speak with a holistic doctor who can test your hormone levels and treat you if necessary.

    There are natural therapies that can get your body to produce hormones again on its own, or in some cases, you may need natural bioidentical replacement therapy.

    If you're in the San Diego area, I run one of the nation's most complete hormone testing and treatment programs at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

    Not in Southern California? I'm also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.

    And don't forget to connect with me on Facebook!

  2. Belly fat linked to heart risk

    Do you have a 'toxic tummy'?

    Potbelly, spare tire, beer gut, jelly belly.... That extra fat that flops over your waistline has all kinds of nicknames, but it's time for a new one.

    Let's call that belly fat what it REALLY is: the TOXIC TUMMY.

    Too much fat in the middle isn't just a sign that you're overweight. It's a visible warning sign of dangerous and potentially deadly risks.

    That fat is TOXIC to your health.

    New research shows how it's time to tame that toxic tummy before it's too late, because this one is proof positive of the deadly risks that accompany the unsightly accumulation of belly fat.

    The real name for that jelly in the belly is adipose fat, and there are two kinds of it: the stuff you can see hanging over your belt, and the stuff you can't see that's pushed deeper inside, into your abdominal cavity.

    The new study finds that when your visible belly fat grows, the hidden stuff lurking inside your abdomen builds up TWICE as fast.

    The middle-aged folks in the study tested saw their outer belly fat increase by 22 percent over six years, but the "deep" belly fat jumped by 45 percent in that time.

    Each pound of fat ANYWHERE on your body will cause heart disease risk factors to shoot up -- including blood pressure and deadly triglycerides. But deep belly fat does even more damage.

    It can cause your blood sugar to spin out of control, increasing your risk of diabetes, and cut your levels of disease-fighting HDL cholesterol.

    If you've struggled with your own toxic tummy, don't feel too bad -- because it's not entirely your fault. I'm sure you've tried a diet and maybe taken up some exercise, only to be frustrated by the results.

    Diet and exercise are great, but after a certain age they just won't work as well because the REAL reason for that expanding waistline in many cases isn't on your dinner plate.

    It's in your hormones.

    The hormone changes that strike in late middle age can lead to a slow-but-steady weight gain. By the time you hit your senior years, you can end up with a stomach so swollen you might look pregnant -- even if you're a guy!

    In many cases, natural hormone therapies can get your body back to burning fat that way it used to and melt away that toxic tummy in no time.

    Seek the help of a holistic medical doctor who can test your hormones, find out what you need, and raise those levels safely.

    And if you're in the San Diego area, I can run those tests right here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

    Not in Southern California? I'm also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation. You can also connect with me on Facebook -- just search for "Mark Stengler."

  3. Oral bacteria one of the causes of dementia

    The same germs responsible for gum disease could play a role in dementia and Alzheimer's disease, according to new research.
  4. Belly fat leads to heart disease and cancer

    Just a little extra fat in the belly can increase the risk of cancer and heart disease.
  5. Waist size can be more important than BMI for diabetes risk

    Obesity causes diabetes -- but too much belly fat can bring on the condition as well, even if you're not obese. Measure your true risk here.
  6. The rising tide of metabolic syndrome

    It's metabolic syndrome, a perfect storm of the five risk factors that leads to diabetes and heart disease: belly fat, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides and low levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol.

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