How belly fat kills
Step 1: The BreakdownAfter you eat a calorie- and fat-laden meal, your small intestine breaks fat molecules down into glycerol and fatty acids, which end up in your bloodstream.
Step 2: The BreakoutFatty acids circulate through your entire body and are absorbed into fat cells, where they're reassembled into fat molecules and stored for the next famine. Excess glucose and amino acids are also absorbed by fat cells and converted to fat molecules. If the famine doesn't come, you grow.
Step 3: The Love-Handle ConnectionMen are most likely to accumulate fat under the skin in the abdominal area, giving them a beer belly or love handles. Some unlucky guys store it as visceral fat, the kind that globs around your internal organs. If your gut is round and firm, your waist is bigger than your hips, or you wear a size 40 or larger, you're one of the latter. The theory: Your body is looking for someplace else to store excess fat--namely, your organs, or worse, within your muscles, heart, liver, or pancreas.
Step 4: Moving in for the KillThere's a correlation between a guy's visceral fat and a host of ill-health markers, such as insulin resistance, high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, elevated triglyceride levels, and even high blood pressure. The reason: Your liver taps into the pool of fat surrounding it for energy. Using it produces cholesterol, which in turn gunks up your arteries, leaving you at high risk of strokes, heart disease, and diabetes. Back slowly away from the doughnut and nobody gets hurt.