Why Belly Fat Is Bad & How To Fix It

Why is Belly Fat Bad

The recent report showing that a man with belly fat (central obesity) had a greater risk of dying that men with the same height and weight but without the belly shows that all weight is not the same. But it not only affected men, it also affected women. The risk – twice as much for men and 1.5 times as much for women.

Expected survival estimates were consistently lower for those with central obesity when age and BMI were controlled for.”

This represents fat that is called visceral fat, or intra-abdominal fat. It is responsible for fatty liver disease, increased insulin resistance, diabetes, dementia, certain cancers such as breast and colon, and increased inflammatory response all of which are associated with an increased risk of cardiac mortality.

The inflammatory response that starts with the gut is thought to be the origin of these issues.

What Dietary Changes Can Reduce Belly Fat?


A healthy diet with some good beef (grass fed) and broccoli is a start


Decrease or eliminate these from your diet:

candySome belly fat comes from people who abnormally respond to fructose (fructose is half of the table sugar the other half is glucose – it is also found in high fructose corn syrup). Avoidance of “free fructose” those that are found in drinks, candies, pastries, chips, and other processed foods.

Made with whole wheat is not the same as a whole grain. In the US we have no definition of whole grain

Made with whole wheat is not the same as a whole grain. In the US we have no definition of whole grain

Processed grains are also implicated in this (in the US there is no standard definition for whole grains thus any food label can say it is made from whole grains). I tell patients who are rebuilding their diets to eliminate grain as a source first.

Other inflammatory agents in mice turned out to be emulsifiers, commonly found in many processed foods from salad dressing to ice cream. For a previous blog see this

To Reduce Belly Fat Increase These In Your Diet

The increase of vegetables in the diet is one way to reduce inflammation

The increase of vegetables in the diet is one way to reduce inflammation

Decreasing inflammation in the abdomen is a key, and prebiotics in the form of green vegetables specifically the cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, mustard greens, cauliflower, etc. not only reduce inflammation but help to build a better microbiome.

Pike Place Market Salmon

Fatty fish, like salmon, reduce the risk of heart failure and increase the “good” cholesterol HDL

Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and the best way to obtain them is from eating salmon at least twice a week – or other fatty fish.  Having been born and raised in Ketchikan, Alaska (salmon capital of the world) I am partial to wild Alaska salmon.



Normal-Weight Central Obesity: Implications for Total and Cardiovascular Mortality . Sahakyan, K., et. al Annals of Internal Medicine 10 November 2015



Dr. Terry Simpson About Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and went to medical school. Dr. Simpson, a weight loss surgeon is an advocate of culinary medicine. The first surgeon to become certified in Culinary Medicine, he believes teaching people to improve their health through their food and in their kitchen. On the other side of the world, he has been a leading advocate of changing health care to make it more "relationship based," and his efforts awarded his team the Malcolm Baldrige award for healthcare in 2011 for the NUKA system of care in Alaska and in 2013 Dr Simpson won the National Indian Health Board Area Impact Award. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit www.terrysimpson.com.

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