Visceral fat and your health

05th Aug 2016

For years, fat distribution in the body has been studied. Just recently, a lot of attention has been paid to the visceral fat. There are two layers of fat that accumulate in the body. One is the subcutaneous fat, which is the fat that you can grab with your hands, and then there is the visceral fat, which is the fat around the internal organs, including the liver, stomach, and intestines. You need to understand that visceral fat is a very harmful type of fat to have. Recent studies have shown that this fat increases risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

The visceral fat is well below the skin. As a matter of fact, it is below the abdominal wall. This fat surrounds vital organs, like I mentioned before, but is so close to the liver that the liver can actually turn this fat into cholesterol. From there, the fat goes through the bloodstream and it can collect in the blood vessels, hardening and narrowing arteries, or what is called atherosclerosis. You may be more likely to get health problems from this kind of fat if your waist measures more than 40 inches for men, or more than 35 inches for women. This fat is not just a problem for people who have underlying diabetes; it is a problem for healthy adults. It makes it harder for the body to use insulin, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. Let’s say, for example, a man has a waist over 40 inches and we compare him to a man with a waist of 29 to 34 inches. The man with a big waist is 12 times more likely to have diabetes, setting aside any other health factor that he might have.

It is important to understand that the visceral fat behaves like another organ. It has been related to the following health conditions:

1. Heart disease
2. Type 2 diabetes
3. Breast cancer
4. Colorectal cancer
5. Alzheimer’s
6. High blood pressure
7. Stroke
8. High cholesterol
9. Dementia

Diet and exercise are two things that can help to decrease and minimize the visceral fat.


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