Wellness Tip of the Week

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Watch Out for the “Poison” Apple

In the metaphor of body shapes, “apples” are people who carry excess fat in their abdomens, while “pears” carry theirs in the hips and thighs.  Where you carry your body fat makes a big difference for your health.  Excess belly fat is a known risk factor for metabolic syndrome — a collection of symptoms that can lead to diabetes and heart disease — and may increase your risk of other conditions, including breast and colon cancer.  In a new study of people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, an apple-shaped body put people at risk for serious heart disease regardless of their weight and body mass index.

To whittle your middle:

Get your whole body moving.  Both aerobic exercise and strength training can reduce belly fat, so incorporate both into your routine.

  • Since stress can fuel the buildup of belly fat, get serious about regular relaxation, even if that sounds like an oxymoron!
  • Replace those processed, refined items with fiber-rich plant foods like vegetables, legumes, and whole, intact grains.
  • Make sure the fat in your diet comes from nutritious sources like avocados, olive oil, nuts, and salmon.
  • Replace sugary desserts with…what else?  Fruit!  Unless you’re diabetic, you probably don’t need to worry about the sugar in your fruit — bananas, apples, pears, and grapes are not what’s fueling the obesity epidemic in this country.  All whole fruits are welcome!

The Wellness Tip of the Week is from Cleveland Clinic’s 360-5 Daily Wellness Tips.