Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide. Among these diseases are coronary heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. Currently, high mortality rates are being registered in people with previous suffering from cardiovascular diseases as a result of the effects of the Covid-19 viral infection.
Not only the weight, the percentage of fat and the degree of obesity are relevant, but the place where this fat is deposited and the type of fat that is accumulating in the body. When this is reflected in the increase in abdominal circumference, which we call “llanita”, attention should be paid since the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases increases and the risk of developing chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCD), such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
There is a close relationship between the accumulation of fat in the abdomen, the percentage of visceral fat and the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases. The measurement of the abdominal circumference is an indirect indicator for its identification.
Abdominal circumference is a body measurement used to establish abdominal fat and cardiovascular risk for each person, this evaluation basically consists of measuring the circumference of the abdomen with a tape measure, a value ≥ (greater or equal) to 88 cm in women and ≥ 102 cm in men the increased risk of heart disease can be defined. With regard to the assessment of visceral fat, this is also a measurement that is related to a high increased cardiovascular risk if the person has a value of ≥10% visceral fat. This fat is the one that is in excess in the abdomen and covers the main organs of our body, such as the heart, liver, pancreas, intestines and kidneys.
Fat alters the blood
This fat, being accumulated around the organs, promotes alterations in the blood such as increased cholesterol, triglycerides, increased risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. People with obesity and an increased abdominal circumference are at high risk and should be treated to control weight and abdominal fat, through adequate nutrition and increased physical activity, since the risk of events in patients with any existing heart disease and in healthy patients decrease the risk of suffering them.
The accumulation of abdominal fat has various factors such as sedentary lifestyle, stress, consumption of alcohol and tobacco products, genetic factors, hormonal factors and mainly due to an inadequate diet.
Having a healthy diet and lifestyle are the best weapons to fight cardiovascular disease. Therefore, follow the following recommendations:
– Get complete blood tests at least once a year.
– Get more than 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week.
– Eat fruits and vegetables, a source of fiber and nutrients that protect the heart.
– Use healthy fats like olive and canola oil, seeds, and avocado.
– Choose whole grains, such as chickpeas, beans, lentils, rice, and whole grain breads.
– Increase the consumption of fish as they contain Omega 3 and this protects our heart.
– Regulate salt intake, check the product label and check that it is below 140 mg per serving of the product.
– Regulate the consumption of butter, cream cheese, sweet cream, meats, processed meats such as sausages, chorizo, salami, cheeses and high-fat dairy as they increase cholesterol levels.
– Hydrate well, at least 8 glasses of water a day.
– Avoid alcoholic beverages, sodas, or sugary soft drinks.
– Avoid consuming ultra-processed foods such as fried foods.