A listener' s question came in about his ever-expanding, not shrinking, waistline and the belly fat that has accumulated despite his best efforts. It’s common, especially in men and women in perimenopause, to find their waist circumference to increase, which is a potentially deadly situation.
Fat around the middle surrounds your organs and has its own name. Visceral fat. It acts as a hormonal gland like your adrenals or pituitary, secreting hormones that mess more of us up. It’s the number one cause of aging, increasing risks of blood clots that lead to heart attack and stroke. It drives inflammation, high blood presssure and insulin resistance (when your cells don’t respond and allow energy to storage within the cell), producing more and more and more and more insulin. This visceral fat can change your brain chemistry as these fat cells produce hundreds of molecules. Dementia and Alzheimers are linked with belly fat and called type 3 diabetes, which is insulin resistance of the brain. In short, this belly fat can mess you up and can seriously be a driving factor for premature death.
Along with stress and a lack of sleep, liquid calories are a huge contributor to belly fat. Sugar calories are bad enough, and liquid sugar calories from high fructose corn syrup, glucose, or fructose are worse. When sugar isn’t in the matrix of natural food, like fiber, protein, or fat, they’re just pure sugar and so easy to sip all day or slurp with a straw. So many drinks that you don’t realize are pure fructose. Like that OJ you’re drinking, or the flavouring in your coffee drink, hot or cold, can be high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Soda, drink mixers, and syrups can be 75% fructose. Fructose and HFCS are absorbed quickly because nothing buffers the sugar’s absorption. They spike your blood sugar which creates a spike in insulin. And that makes the flood into your bloodstream into your cells, that can’t get in there, so it goes right into your belly fat cells, it doesn’t go into your butt or arm or your ear lobe, it goes right into your belly fat stores.
Have a look at all your liquid consumption this week by noting down when you have a drink, or hit the drive-thru and see what you are ordering. Black coffee is your best bet, and although the hot chocolate is tempting after being outside, see what you can do to ditch it.
For more, listen to episode 149 of EAT THIS with Lianne.
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