while in canada they broadcast a medical radio program i listened to regularly. i can't get it here, but i receive his email updates and visit his website regularly. he's the best i've heard on nutrition and wellness. because my family of origin had NO teaching on health and nutrition i found this to be very helpful for me. if you are in the same boat you can find him here:
here's the news i needed to hear today as i am an 'apple'...
Dear Dr. Mirkin: Why is it worse to have a fat stomach than fat hips?
A new study from Queen’s University in Canada confirms that storing fat primarily in your belly, rather than your hips, increases your chances of suffering heart attacks and diabetes (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 2004). When you take in more calories than your body needs, your liver turns them into fat. People who store fat primarily in their bellies are called "apples," while those who store fat primarily in their hips are called "pears."
Fat cells in your belly are different from those in your hips. The blood that flows from belly fat goes directly to your liver, whereas the blood that flows from your hips goes into your general circulation. The livers of those who store fat in their bellies are blocked from removing insulin by the extra fat and therefore do not remove insulin from the bloodstream as effectively as the livers of those who store fat in their hips and have less fat in their livers. So "apples" have higher blood insulin and sugar levels.
You need insulin to drive sugar from your bloodstream into your cells, but insulin is also a harmful hormone because it lowers blood levels of the good HDL cholesterol that prevents heart attacks and raises blood levels of the bad triglycerides that cause heart attacks. Being shaped like an apple and having a beer belly increases your risk for a heart attack and diabetes. People who store fat primarily in their hips and are shaped like pears are less likely to have heart attacks.