Does being over weight lead to a stroke?

 

The answer is YES!

I was delivering my talk yesterday, and this young man said his mother had a stroke, but she is getting better. He said it would be good if she lost a little weight.

After the talk, I found this article.  I hope you are reading this!!!!

Belly Fat Increases Stroke Risk

Posted by Lucy Lazarony

Extra fat around your middle is harmful for your health and increases your risk of stroke.

People with belly fat also have an increased risk of heart disease and developing Type 2 diabetes.

And according to new research in the Annals of Internal Medicine, men and women with large waist-to-hip ratios have higher mortality risks than people who are obese or overweight.

According to the research that studied 15,000 people, men with pot bellies had twice the mortality risk as men who were simply overweight or obese.

And women with excess belly fat had 1.5 times the mortality risk than overweight or obese women.

Why belly fat is so harmful

The fat that hangs around your stomach goes deep inside the body and wraps around vital internal organs.

For example, the liver may take this fat and turn it into cholesterol, which slips into the bloodstream, clogging arteries, and increasing risk of heart attack and stroke.

Deep belly fat also raises glucose levels, lowers muscle mass, and can cause your body to become insulin-resistant, which may lead to Type 2 diabetes.

How to fight belly fat

A healthy diet can help you reduce and keep off belly fat.

Avoid eating processed foods. Eat limited amounts of meat, no more than a few times a month, and opt for lots of servings of fruits and vegetables instead. Eat whole grains and nuts. Replace butter with olive oil.  Choose herbs and spices to flavor food instead of salt.

Watch portion sizes and limit servings of white bread, refined-grain pasta, and sugary drinks.

The best way to fight off belly fat is exercise. So get moving.

To burn off belly fat, exercise moderately several times a week. Walk briskly for 50 minutes, three times a week.  Or walk for 30 minutes, six days a week.

To improve muscle mass, add resistance or weight training to your exercise routine.

You’ll feel better and lighter as pounds drop away. Losing belly fat also lowers your blood pressure and improves cholesterol levels.

And because high stress levels have been linked to increased belly fat in women, it is a good idea to incorporate moments of calm into your day.

Quiet moments of deep breathing are good stress busters. Yoga postures can calm the body as well.

Spending time in nature is an easy way to relieve stress. So relax and enjoy the wonder of nature.

Southern Diet” Strongly Linked To Heart Disease

By Alice G. Walton
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

A new study finds that people who eat a traditionally Southern diet, high in fried and fatty foods, are at higher risk for heart disease. Although this may sound like it falls under the category of “not surprising,” the study is important, since it gives more scientific backing to what would by now seem obvious. It may also propel people who are devoted to the unhealthy, if delicious, way of life into a healthier, more heart-friendly one. But it may not be so easy. The lingering question is how to make diet-related suggestions that people can actually put into effect.

The researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham looked at data from over 17,000 Caucasian and African-American people over the age of 45 who had never suffered from heart disease. They asked the participants, who lived in regions throughout the country, to fill out food frequency questionnaires; all participants also had physical exams. The team touched base with the participants periodically over the next six years to see whether any had developed heart disease.

What emerged in the analysis of eating habits was five distinct patterns:

    • The Southern pattern: Fried foods, fatty foods, added fats, eggs, processed meats, such as bacon and ham, organ meats (e.g. liver), and sugary drinks
    • The Convenience pattern: Easy-to-fix foods like pasta dishes, Mexican food, Chinese food, and pizza.
    • The Plant-Based pattern: High in fruits and vegetables, cereals, beans, yogurt, poultry and fish.
    • The Sweets pattern: Foods with more added sugars, desserts, chocolate, candy, and sweetened breakfast foods.
    • The Alcohol/Salads: Characterized by beer, wine, liquor, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes and salad dressings.

And here are the significant results: People who reported high adherence to a Southern style diet had a 56% increased risk of developing coronary heart disease than people who ate it the least. And this was true even when the team accounted for variables like, age, sex, race, education, household income, region, energy, smoking, and physical activity. Southern diet eaters were also more likely to have hypertension, dyslipidemia (dysregulation of blood fats), and diabetes, but again, even when these variables were taken out, the association between a Southern diet and heart disease still stood.

It’s worth mentioning who the average Southern-diet consumer was: He tended to be male, over the age of 65, African-American, a non-high school graduate, living on an income less than $20,000/year, and be a resident of the “stroke belt,” including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana. The geographic element isn’t surprising, but the fact that the average Southern diet consumer was also of lower socioeconomic status and older may mean they don’t feel they have a lot of other alternatives regarding food choice.

Still, the connection was present in people of all socioeconomic (SES ) classes, so there’s clearly a link worth paying attention to – and there are several likely mechanisms to explain it. The Southern diet is typically high in processed meats, which are high in salt and in nitrates, which are in turn linked to heart risk. The high sugar content of the diet may also lead to negative effects, like insulin resistance and inflammation. Finally, a potentially high trans fats intake could also make one more prone to heart disease.

It’s hard to convince people to change diet habits that have been with them for a lifetime, and not all suggestions are useful. One health expert, in response to the study, suggested that “one might encourage Southern food eaters to opt for oven-fried nut-crusted chicken. Or New York-style collard greens simmered with extra virgin olive oil, tomatoes, garlic and organic vegetable stock.” Perhaps the stroke belt’s upper echelon can take this advice, but it seems unlikely that advice like this would be useful to someone whose income is less than $20,000/year, as were many of the participants in the study who were at the highest risk.

Smaller and more feasible changes might have a greater effect. ”Regardless of your gender, race, or where you live, if you frequently eat a Southern-style diet you should be aware of your risk of heart disease and try to make some gradual changes to your diet,” said study author James M. Shikany. “Try cutting down the number of times you eat fried foods or processed meats from every day to three days a week as a start, and try substituting baked or grilled chicken or vegetable-based foods.” For most people eating any kind of less-than-ideal diet, Southern or not, the smallest changes are usually the place to start.

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