Having too much belly fat can increase your heart disease risk. Learn about the connection between belly fat and heart disease.

When it comes to weight, we generally look at a person’s body mass index (BMI) to determine their healthy range. However, according to a new scientific report, having too much belly fat is bad even if your BMI is good.

Available in Circulation, the American Heart Association (AHA) summarizes research on the impact belly fat has on heart health. Other names for belly fat include abdominal fat and visceral adipose tissue (VAT).

Measuring Belly Fat

belly fat and heart disease

“Studies that have examined the relationship… confirm that visceral fat is a clear health hazard,” says Dr. Tiffany Powell-Wiley. In addition to being the writing committee chair, Powell-Wiley is chief of the Social Determinants of Obesity and Cardiovascular Risk Laboratory at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.

By using the ratio of waist circumference to height or waist-to-hip ratio, we can determine whether someone has too much belly fat. Moreover, through this measurement, we can predict cardiovascular death independent of BMI (which is based on height and weight).

According to experts, you should measure both your abdominal measurement and BMI during regular healthcare visits. If you have abdominal obesity, even if you have a healthy BMI, you may have fat accumulation around the liver.

Obesity and Health

Around 3 billion people around the world are either overweight or obese, factors that contribute to various chronic health conditions. For instance, it can lead to high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep disorders, and coronary artery disease. However, the analysis shows that obese people with low levels of abdominal fat have a lower risk of heart problems.

The research shows that 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise may be enough to reduce abdominal fat. Furthermore, physical activity (by itself or combined with dieting) may reduce abdominal obesity even if there is no weight loss.

According to the new AHA statement, weight loss from lifestyle changes improves blood pressure, blood sugar, and triglyceride levels. Moreover, it also improves blood vessel function, reduces inflammation, and helps with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Finally, through intense weight loss, you may help curb atrial fibrillation, which results in a quivering or irregular heartbeat. According to estimates, obesity may account for one-fifth of all atrial fibrillation cases.

The Outlook

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When looking at your risk factors, you have to look further than your BMI and consider your belly fat. Talk to your doctor about different strategies you can implement to lose belly fat and lose weight overall.

Meanwhile, if you want to give your heart health an extra boost, try taking a daily supplement like L-arginine Plus. It works by promoting your nitric oxide levels, which are natural molecules that relax blood vessels and improve circulation.

Try L-arginine Plus along with a good strategy to lose belly fat and give your heart health the support it needs.

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