Five Tummy Trimming Tips

A tighter stomach could give you a healthier heart.

ByABC News via logo
June 16, 2008, 5:56 PM

June 17, 2008 — -- Excessive belly fat can do more than make you dread swimsuit season. It also has a correlation with heart health. Trimming the excess baggage around your waistline won't only make your jeans fit better -- it will also reduce your risks for all types of diseases.

Health guru Dr. Mehmet Oz dropped by "Good Morning America" today to discuss the five things you can do to trim your belly -- and not one of them involves those dreaded sit-ups. Check out his advice and find out why heart health goes beyond diet and exercise.

We're not talking about the belly fat that you can bust with sit-ups. We're talking about the layer of fat underneath your stomach muscles, the omentum. This belly fat puts pressure on the veins, which puts pressure on the kidney and leads to hypertension and high blood pressure.

It poisons the liver and blocks insulin, which gives you diabetes -- all of which lead to metabolic syndrome.

Avoid added simple sugars. Cut out things like corn, malt, maple, rice, syrups, dextrose, maltose and glucose. A good way to look for these on a nutrition label is to look for anything that ends in "ose," which usually indicate a syrup.

When stress hormones are elevated, they are absorbed by your belly. So, whatever you eat turns to fat and is stored there.

You should do aerobic or fast walking for at least 30 minutes daily. This reduces insulin resistance by as much as 15 percent.