New Study Suggests That Belly Fat Is Worse Than Obesity For Your Heart Health


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The Body Mass Index (BMI) is generally used to assess overall fitness, however, a new study has found that weight concentrated around the middle can be more harmful than obesity itself.

The waist to hip ratio is proving to be a better predictor of heart disease and other illness than BMI alone.

Participants were divided into six groups based on which of the three BMI groups they fell into, and whether they had a normal or high waist-to-hip ratio. Men whose waist measurement was 90 percent or more of their hip measurement were considered to have a high hip-to-waist ratio. The same was true of women; those with waists that were 85 percent of their hip size were classified as having a high hip-to-waist ratio.

Participants with normal BMI but a high waist-to-hip ratio had the risk of dying of cardiovascular disease, and the highest risk of dying from any causes among the six groups.
The risk of cardiovascular death was 2.75 times higher, and the risk of death from any cause was 2.08 times higher among normal-weight people with “central obesity,” compared with normal-weight people who had a normal waist-to-hip ratio.
“The high risk of death may be related to a higher visceral fat accumulation in this group, which is associated with insulin resistance and other risk factors,” said study researcher Dr. Karine Sahakyan, also of Mayo Clinic.

Men can be highly susceptible to accumulating belly fat and inactivity, poor diet and stress contribute to visceral fat.

Keeping your abs toned and your middle “whittled” is the best way to avoid disease and keep your heart strong.

Three Health Issues Every Man Should Discuss With His Doctor


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Most men are squeamish about discussing their concerns about testosterone, erectile disfunction or trouble urinating, however these embarrassing topics could shed light on deeper more serious health issues like heart disease, cancer or hormone imbalance.

Since most visits to the doctor last less than 20 minutes, getting warmed up can take some effort.

Be armed with a list of questions and concerns to get the most out of your time with your physician.

Health Benefits of Acai Berry Supplements

Acai (pronounced AH-sigh-EE) is a palm tree that can be found in South American and Central America. Countries such as Brazil and Belize are rich in acai. Other names for acai include acai extract, assai, assai palm, acai fruit, acai palm, cabbage palm, Euterpe oleracea, Amazon acai, Amazon acai berry, and of course, acai berry.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), acai contains chemicals that are antioxidants. Antioxidants are thought to protect body cells from the damaging effects of chemical reactions with oxygen (oxidation). According to some research, acai has more antioxidant content than cranberry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, or blueberry. Because the berries of the tree have such a high level of antioxidants, they are used to make medicine, supplements, powders, and drinks. The berries can be used in foods and they are also eaten whole.

Many people use acai berry supplements to improve arthritis, lower cholesterol, and improve general health. They are also used to promote weight-loss and they are used in anti-aging creams, shampoos, and conditioners. There are few studies to support the benefits of acai berry, but studies do demonstrate the protective properties of antioxidants.

So far, there are no studies to suggest that acai berry is dangerous. At the same time, there are no studies to support how it might interact with other supplements, herbs, or prescription medications. It is also unknown if acai berry supplements are safe for pregnant women. The issue is not acai berry, it’s the way it may be processed, the amount contained per capsule, if the supplements are made from pure acai, or if the supplements contain other substances or chemicals. Because of this, doctors recommend getting the antioxidants you need from food.

If you prefer acai, it’s best to eat the berries raw or make your own homemade juice as most store bought juices contain loads of sugar or additives. The problem is, finding raw acai outside of South or Central America can be tricky. Use your favorite search engine to seek out importers. It might be expensive, but if you want to enjoy the benefits of raw acai berries, this is your best bet.

Other Foods that Contain Antioxidants

Antioxidant substances include beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Antioxidants can be found in fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains, poultry, and fish. Some of the most antioxidant rich foods include:

-Red Beans
-Kidney Beans
-Russet Potatoes
-Black Beans
-Artichoke Hearts
-Pecans
-Black Plums
-Dried Prunes
-Pinto Beans
-Sweet Cherries
-Cereal (oats, barley)
-Cabbage
-Hazelnuts
-Spices (cinnamon, cloves, oregano, cayenne pepper)
-Apples

Antioxidants can also be found in some meats, such as beef. For more information about acai and other antioxidants, visit Medline Plus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.

Plan ahead to avoid the fast food trap

With all the information available it’s tantamount to negligence to eat fast food.

But given a hectic lifestyle and time spent in our cars is almost unavoidable not to hit the “drive thru” from time to time.

In a better world you would have a cache of nutritious snacks for the road; nuts, fruits, water to get you through the day until the next healthy meal.

David Zinczenko, the author of “Eat This, Not That” offers up strategies to help you avoid the junk food jungle!

The Good Fats and the Bad Fats Facts!

Does fat make us Fat?

Everyday in the news is some information about the fat.

We all need it, we all eat it.

What are the facts?

Here’s a simple guide to fats, the good, the bad and the ugly.

First realize that fats are a necessary part of any diet. We need fats to make hormones, build and repair tissues, and for energy. Gram per gram, fat provides about more than twice the energy of carbohydrates (9 calories per gram vs 4 calories per gram for carbs). Fats also help us absorb certain vitamins and satiates our appetite more than carbs or protein.

But there really are good fats and bad fats and the Cliff notes version of this column is this — if a fat is solid or semi-solid at room temperature, you should avoid it.

Most dietary fats fall in to three categories: Saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and mono unsaturated fats.

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