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What is a beer belly?

Having a big belly is associated with a higher risk of heart disease and death, but to understand the beer belly (which you can not blame for beer), you have to look inside.

Some fat lives just under the skin

Under-skin fat (literally "under the skin") is everywhere in your body. Her earlobes are made of fat. This is the fat that you can touch and crush. It can be annoying, but it is not the harmful belly fat that you were warned about.

Your body deposits the subcutaneous fat anywhere, as your genetics and hormones tell you. Women tend to put it more on the buttocks and thighs, men more on the stomach, but many people have a mixture of both or a pattern that does not fit the extremes. All of this is possible with a normal, healthy body, although you may notice more subcutaneous stomach fat, even if you also have visceral fat.

Fat that surrounds your organs is the type you need to worry about

If you've heard that "belly fat" is bad, stop thinking about love handles and think about it what's in your stomach. The fat that is most associated with health risks is the visceral fat that surrounds your organs. This fat is located in inside behind a muscle wall. If you find yourself in a stomach, feel soft muddy subcutaneous fat and then this muscular wall. The visceral fat is behind it.

It is this fat that increases your risk of heart disease, insulin resistance, and chronic inflammatory disease (or may signal that you are already at risk). That's why the waist size is a useful indicator of your health risks. It's not perfect, but tells this story better than BMI or total weight.

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There are other ways to get a swollen belly

A beer belly can come from other causes, and I do not just mean pregnancy. Some health conditions cause your liver or other organs to enlarge. One is especially linked to alcohol consumption.

A life of heavy drinking can lead to liver damage called cirrhosis. In extreme cases, this can lead to ascites, an accumulation of fluid in the abdomen. If you have ascites, your doctor may be able to drain the fluid. However, this is a serious condition, often indicative of liver transplantation.

Apart from that beer has no special connection with a beer belly. If you drink a lot of alcohol, you may be consuming a lot of calories, which can lead to more fat in both types. You may also have other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. But you can not blame your beer belly for beer.

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