Oats, Oats, They’re Good for your Heart…

February 9, 2010 at 6:17 am 28 comments

…the more you eat, the more you….lower your cholesterol? I have no good rhyme.

Don’t mind me, just singing to myself as I eat my oats.

oats

Fabulous bowl of oatmeal this am: oats, wheat germ, flax, chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, walnuts, peanut buttah!

Oooch I can feel last night’s Pilates class for sure! I had a feeling I’d be a bit sore when I left a little jello-y.

Now for….

DYKT #3

Did you know …

Thin doesn’t always mean fit.

Continuing last week’s discussion, just because you’re thin doesn’t necessarily mean you’re fit. The same goes for the other way around: just because someone is overweight doesn’t mean they’re not in good shape. This phenomenon is being labeled a new ‘health hazard’- it’s being called “skinny fat”.

Being skinny doesn’t mean someone doesn’t have a large proportion of body fat relative to their body size. This can increase the risk for a whole host of diseases- high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, etc. Just because you can’t see it jiggle doesn’t mean there’s no fat there. Having fat that surrounds your organs is even more dangerous, and increases your mortality risk.

skinny fat

As far as health & longevity go, fitness is actually more important than weight. Research has shown that cardiovascular fitness plays a greater role in mortality than whether someone is fat or skinny. Interestingly enough, the death rate is no greater for someone who is obese & fit, than someone who is normal weight & fit.

I am by no means saying weight isn’t relevant at all, but it seem so often the focus is only on weight. Numbers only mean so much- there’s a lot more to it!

I can personally verify the skinny fat phenomenon: I had my body composition measured during my internship. Although I was a healthy body weight for my height, I had significantly too much body fat compared to lean muscle mass. i also had a high LDL (bad) cholesterol. It was definitely an eye opener- weight isn’t the only measure of health.

What are your thoughts?!

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Entry filed under: Breakfast, DYKT. Tags: , , .

Long, Lean, & Wonderful Human Icicle

28 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)  |  February 9, 2010 at 7:17 am

    So true! I think we do look at weight as the one and only form of being healthy, but we forget of the “skinny fat.” People who stay slim while eating burgers and pizza all day may aren’t healthier then an overweight person who eats well and exercises. 😉

    Reply
  • 2. Lily @ Lily's Health Pad  |  February 9, 2010 at 7:24 am

    I totally agree. I read a great book a few years ago called “The Obesity Myth.” Basically, it just talked about how overweight people really weren’t as unhealthy as the media and weight loss industry would like you to believe. Smoking and drinking are much more indicative of health than weight. (According to the book.)

    Reply
  • 3. Erin  |  February 9, 2010 at 8:02 am

    This is a really interesting point. I eat healthy and have a low BMI/body weight but still carry some extra fat on my stomach, which I know is a danger zone for women. It’s a hard balance — not wanting to lose any more weight but needing to tone that region.

    Reply
  • 4. Matt  |  February 9, 2010 at 8:12 am

    That is true! I know some people who are stick thin but can’t run a mile!

    Reply
  • 5. fromatopink  |  February 9, 2010 at 8:45 am

    LOVE today’s DYKT! I think it’s something people often don’t think about – you can still be unhealthy on the inside even if you look healthy on the outside. Thanks for sharing this!

    Reply
  • 6. bridgetwickes  |  February 9, 2010 at 8:53 am

    It’s like the jealousy that some people feel when they see some skinny person downing a big cheeseburger. Yeah she’s thin, but she be horribly unhealthy and think she’s fine becuase she’s not fat. I’d much rather be HEALTHY!!

    Mmmm oats, I just had a nice hot bowl 🙂

    Reply
  • 7. fitandfortysomething  |  February 9, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Glad you wrote about this! Very important to know….

    Reply
  • 8. chandra  |  February 9, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Very true! I’ve been trying to explain this to clients and gym members lately, especially those who claim they are just going to do cardio and no weight training to get healthy. Someone who does only cardio may look thin, but they aren’t doing strength training to build/maintain muscle, so they still end up with a higher body fat percentage, thus making them a “skinny fat person”.

    Reply
  • 9. Jamie (Food in Real Life)  |  February 9, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Hi! Glad I found your blog!

    I agree that it is important to be aware of what is healthy on the inside and not just what appears to be healthy on the outside.

    Your oatmeal looks heavenly!

    Reply
  • 10. Erin Eats and Exercises  |  February 9, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Great post! I feel that some people have a hard time understanding that and think that just because they are thin means that they are healthy and don’t need to exercise. Not the case.

    Funny you mention your cholesterol; I exercise on a regular basis, eat oatmeal daily, do not eat chicken or beef, and don’t smoke. I got my cholesterol tested last year and was surprised at how high it was! Luckily my HDL was at higher a level that it wasn’t too serious but I do need to keep an eye on it. My doctor told me to “quit smoking, cut back on the steak, and start exercising (joking…)” and said that it’s probably due to genetics.

    Reply
  • 11. Madeline - Greens and Jeans  |  February 9, 2010 at 10:17 am

    One of my very best friends is teeny tiny but eats HORRIBLY. She recently started having some major stomach issues and feels tired all of the time because of her bad diet! Just looking at her you’d think she was the picture of health!

    Reply
  • 12. Teri [a foodie stays fit]  |  February 9, 2010 at 10:24 am

    I need to have my husband read this post! He’s thin but never exercises. There is more to health than weight; body composition, cardio endurance, muscle mass, cholesterol. People need to look at the picture picture and stop focusing on overall health.

    Great post!

    Reply
  • 13. Sophie  |  February 9, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Great post! It is so interesting, and important, for people (especially girls) to know this! I also recently read that some outrageous percent of pro football players are actually obese. I have recently changed my outlook on my weight/size to trying to be FIT. And if that means the scale will go up because my muscle weights more, so be it 🙂

    Reply
  • 15. Katie @ Health for the Whole Self  |  February 9, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Thanks for this post! I think more people need to be aware of the whole “skinny fat” phenomenon. Our society is just so weight-obsessed that the importance of fitness levels tends to get ignored. That’s why some people take issue with the BMI as the ultimate calculator of health…it really doesn’t take muscle mass into account.

    Reply
  • 16. Salah  |  February 9, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I totally agree with this. I think this was touched on a Biggest Loser episode in the past or at least in some show I was watching….maybe You are What you Eat…that’s beside the point. It’s all about body composition, I think people look so much into numbers that it starts to be the #1 factor when in reality its just a helping hand in weight loss. Some people have a wider build, and gain muscle more easily than others so when weight comes into play a 5’4″ person with more muscle mass is definitely going to weight more than a 5’4″ person that doesn’t gain muscle very easily.

    Reply
  • 17. Teacherwoman  |  February 9, 2010 at 11:15 am

    I agree, it’s not all about the weight, but when we’re talking about extreme obesity, I can say that there is anything good about that.

    Reply
  • 18. Kendall @ Whisk Her Away  |  February 9, 2010 at 11:33 am

    You made my day. First comment on blog ever = total bliss. 🙂

    Survivor this season should be pretty entertaining. They are bringing back old cast members and it’s a heroes vs. villians themed season. Thursday nights are crazy with TV — thank god for Tivo.

    I really want to get all my numbers (cholesterol, body fat %, iron levels) measured. Thanks for reminding me I need to schedule that appt!

    Reply
  • 19. caronae  |  February 9, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Thanks for your comment:)
    I totally agree with all you said here. I know many people who are slightly overweight but extremely fit and healthy eaters; at that point, it’s just genetics or hormones or something beyond our control. Great post!
    And that sounds like the perfect oat combo…

    Reply
  • 20. shelly  |  February 9, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    The focus does need to be on being healthy and fit over being ‘fat’ or ‘skinny’. I troubles me that people do not realize the need for DAILY exercise. Often my friends will say they are too tired from “working hard” at their jobs to fit exercise into their daily routine. Not many Americans actually have a job that allows enough continuous moderate activity that it would consituite a workout.

    The misconception that if I weigh what the ‘chart’ says I should than I don’t need to do anything is a mentality many have. The question is how do we overcome it?

    One family member. One friend at a time.

    Reply
  • 21. Kelly  |  February 9, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    GREAT post!!!! I agree that being skinny does not mean healthy! 🙂 Thanks for the reminder…we all need it from time to time!

    Reply
  • 22. Carolina John  |  February 9, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Very good post! we all have to work on our fitness and overall health, it’s more than just a number on the scale or the “inch you can still pinch”.

    Reply
  • 23. theprocessofhealing  |  February 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    That IS eye-opening! I’m not sure I want to know my body fat %. I did know at one time but now.. no thank you.

    Reply
  • 24. marathonmaiden  |  February 9, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    i completely agree that skinny fat is just as bad as “regular” fat (whatever that really is). the emphasis should be placed on health rather than a number on the scale

    Reply
  • 25. Julie @ Pickley Pear  |  February 9, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Totally agree. I consider myself healthy, workout 2-7 times per week, eat well, but my weight is higher than it should be for my height. I know I am a healthy person inside and that’s what counts.

    Reply
  • 26. Anna  |  February 9, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Great did you know post. I hate it when people equate health with thinness– SO wrong!

    Reply
  • 27. Live, Love, Run, Pray  |  February 10, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    this is sooo true. exactly why i don’t use scales anymore. at all! I measure my fitness by my running, lifting, dancing, and just how well i function in everyday life. I used to go to a group exercise class and my college and the teacher was bad ass and used to call out the “skinny fat” girls. She would tell them just because you’re skinny doesn’t mean you in shape. Just cuz you have a flat stomach doesn’t mean you have a strong supportive core either! Great post!

    Reply
  • […] My fave DYKT discussion yet: the skinny fat phenomenon […]

    Reply

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Welcome! This blog is all about food & fitness, and trying to find balance after an injury. Read along as I train for a half-marathon, triathlon, & have FUN while staying healthy!

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