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Friday, July 7, 2017

Body Fat: Why Your Waistline is Important

Photo credit: Foter.com

How often do you hop out of the baths jump on the scales and don’t even glance at your waistline?

Perhaps you should pull in that belly button and have a closer look at your waist because according to medical experts, the waist is a good indicator of how much fat we are carrying in our bodies.
The report published by the British Journal of Cancer said that as older adults we have a higher risk of certain cancers and diabetes if our waists and hips start expanding over 102 cms (40 ins) for men and 88 cms( 35 ins) for women. 

Fats is a misunderstood word

Fat is not a bad word, it is however often misunderstood and a seemingly complex subject. Fats or lipids provide essential nutrients for fueling the body, but the danger is that too much fat, increases our risk of certain diseases, especially when we eat food containing too much saturated fats. 

Three main types of fatty acids

-- Saturated
-- Monounsaturated  
-- Polyunsaturated

The three are similar in that they have similar chemical structures and contain a chain of carbon atoms bonded with hydrogen atoms. However, all three have different roles to play in the human body and have complex differences in form and function.

How are these fats different?

Saturated fats are solid at room temperature because they are “saturated” with hydrogen molecules.
 Monounsaturated fats—often classed as good fats—are liquid at room temperature because they contain fewer hydrogen atoms.
 Polyunsaturated fats—also considered healthy fats and liquid at room temperature—are broken into two main types: omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids.

Choosing the right fats

Oleic acid is one of the main types of monounsaturated fatty acids. It can be found directly in olives and in olive oil, as well as in rapeseed oil, peanut oil, nuts, almonds, avocados, goose fat, meat, oily fish, and, to a lesser amount, processed meats. Products containing oleic acid carry the name “omega-9” on the food label. Oils containing monounsaturated fats are usually liquid at room temperature but start turning solid when chilled.

Understanding Fats

Monounsaturated fatty acids protect the heart, playing a fundamental role in preventing cardiovascular diseases. They affect the cholesterol levels in the blood and are known to reduce bad cholesterol or LDL, and to increase good cholesterol or HDL.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids commonly referred to as omega-3 and omega-6 acids, deserve special mention. The body does not produce these well-publicized fats; we can get them only from foods, mostly from plant food and certain seafood. That is why they are often called “essential fats.” Fatty acids make up 60% of the brain and are necessary for the correct functioning of our gray matter.

A trim waistline is not just attractive: it shows a positive attitude for choosing the right fats, for maintaining a balanced diet and regular exercise. More important to know though is that by reducing our abdominal fat we are reducing our risk of cancer.

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