Belly fat is bad news. It’s physical prowess alone doesn’t catch the eye or scream sexy. The adjectives about the appearance of belly fat could go on forever, but the secret lies beneath the surface where the excess adipose tissue is hiding the real problem. Belly fat is dangerous. America seems to be going through a crisis of health and belly fat is a major player. Obesity numbers are on the rise and too many children are presenting with unhealthy symptoms and bellies normally reserved for retired folks.

Belly fat usually shows up more in men than women, and even though women usually gain weight in their legs, butt and arms, they still have plenty of chance for belly fat. The most dangerous thing about belly fat is it’s location. It accumulates in the gut, but below the gut lie very important vital organs. The excess fat isn’t just sitting on the surface. It’s sneaking in and surrounding muscles and organs such as the liver, kidneys, pancreas and intestines. These organs are not designed to work with a lot of excess tissue or fat cells in the neighborhood.

Speaking of fat cells – everybody has them. They serve their own purpose, but when you devour fatty foods, these cells expand in size. They actually have a limit to how big they can grow, and once they reach that point, they branch off and form new fat cells. The more fat cells you accumulate, the more fatty tissue you will see. When this happens, like in the case of belly fat, more problems arise.

The excess fat will secrete substances that interfere with the hormones released by the vital organs nearby. For instance, your pancreas releases insulin to regulate your blood sugar, but belly fat releases resistin. This substance complicates the insulin distribution and reception by raising your blood sugars and in turn increasing your risk for diabetes. Your metabolism will be slowed and your risk for heart attack and stroke are elevated.

The list for the dangers of belly fat are long and distinguished, but the point remains: belly fat is dangerous. Once it accumulates, it is hard to get rid of, but you are completely capable of taking control and saying goodbye to the annoying gut.

It all begin in the kitchen. If you value your life and your health, and more importantly those close to you who would hate to see you gone, you must take back your belly. Portion control and healthy food choices combined with a regular exercise routine is a powerful combination against belly fat. You don’t have to eat like a rabbit, but you must make smarter choices. Avoid foods high in fat and sugar. You will feel healthier and happier.