An apple may be good for you, but an apple figure with excess weight in the middle isn’t. The risk for heart disease goes up two and a half times for men with diabetes and the apple figure and rises eightfold for women with diabetes and this shape. A study of more than 430,000 people found those who were 'apples' - rounder around the middle - had a much higher risk of suffering from high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
People who are ‘apple-shaped’ carry more weight around their vital organs than those whose body shape means they carry weight around their hips and thighs. The researchers used data from a previous study to identify the gene variants associated with the waist-to-hip ratio. They then developed a genetic risk score and applied this to four studies from between 2007 and 2015 that mapped the DNA of over 300,000 people, and a study from the UK of over 100,000 people.
Why is the apple figure risky? Fat cells located in the abdomen release fat into the blood more easily than fat cells found elsewhere. The release of fat begins 3 to 4 hours after the last meal compared to many more hours for other fat cells. This easy release shows up as higher triglyceride (TG) and free fatty acid levels. Free fatty acids themselves cause insulin resistance.
If you’ve got an apple figure, the following actions improve insulin sensitivity and are very important in preventing health problems:
- Eat less fat and fewer total calories, (less food, longer life)
- Keep blood sugars normal, (lowers TG levels)
- Drink little or no alcohol, (less abd. fat, lower TGs)
- Exercise regularly, (more muscle, less fat)
- Don’t smoke
- Reduce stress
In any form of body shape, weight gain is a definite culprit. Even having a favourable body shape like pear-shaped or hourglass, weight gain is still not acceptable. You need to remain in the ideal body weight and Body Mass Index (BMI), says the expert. Knowing a particular body shape is important in detecting weight gain so that it can be rectified.
(Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice. Please consult a doctor before starting any fitness regime or medical advice.)
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