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Visceral Fat – What is it

Visceral Fat – What is it
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Do you know what is this Visceral Fat and its health risks? Sincerely, I came to know about this very recently. But knowing about it, I was curious to get more details about it and how is it formed and its health risks. For those who do not know about it, understand that Visceral Fat is somewhat dangerous to have in our body.

Visceral Fat, Visceral Body Fat, Hidden Fat all these talk about one and the same thing. It is that Fat in our body, stored deep inside the belly and wrapped around the organs, including Liver and Intestines. One tenth of the Fat stored in your body is the Visceral Fat. The visible Fat in our body is stored underneath the skin and called Subcutaneous Fat which we can feel. Visceral Fat often makes the belly stick out or give the person an apple shape. Some toxic chemicals and hormones are produced by Visceral Fat, more than the Subcutaneous Fat and hence dangerous. Thin people also can develop Visceral Fat. Visceral Fat is more common in women compared to men. But Visceral Fat is necessary to protect your organs but dangerous if it becomes too much.

How is Visceral Fat Formed in our body

You eat a lot of food and whatever you eat, depending upon its Fat content, the Fat gets stored in your body. This is more obvious when you consume too many calories and/or do not have any physical activity. It is one reason why people who sit and work for long time develop fatty body. For many, the Fat gets stored around their belly rather than hips because of their genes. When women get older, where Fat gets stored changes especially after their menopause. After menopause, their muscle mass gets less and the fat increases. Growing older, they may not put on weight but are more likely to develop more Visceral Fat. In the case of men, age and genetics as well as alcohol consumption lead to more belly and Visceral fat. Research reveals that the Visceral Fat makes more of certain proteins. They inflame your body’s tissues and organs and narrow the blood vessels. Narrowing of blood vessels can raise your blood pressure.

Health Risks of Visceral Fat

It is said that Visceral Fat in the belly is a sign of Metabolic Syndrome. Metabolic Syndrome is a cluster of risk factors that together increase a person’s risk of Stroke, Heart Disease and Type 2 Diabetes. Visceral Fat also causes High Blood Pressure, Obesity, High Cholesterol and Insulin Resistance. Therefore, having Visceral Fat increases the risk of Stroke, Heart Disease and Type 2 Diabetes. There are other risks due to Visceral Fat, like

  1. Dementia
  2. Cancer
  3. Asthma
  4. Liver Disease
  5. Gall Bladder Disease and Gout
  6. Fertility Problems
  7. Lower Back Pain
  8. Osteoarthritis

How to check if you have Visceral Fat

The easiest way to check for Visceral Fat is to measure one’s waist circumference. The risk level for women is if the circumference is 80 cm or more and for men it is 94cm or more. But this is not applicable to children or pregnant women. The BMI (Body Mass Index) measurement also can tell whether you have too much Fat in your body. Only expensive imaging tests can measure how much Visceral Fat is in your body. There are some electronic personal weighing machines, which can show indications of Visceral Fat in your body.

How to reduce Visceral Fat

The easiest and simplest way to reduce Visceral Fat is exercising. Exercises like Brisk Walk, Cycling, Aerobic Exercises etc for at least 30 minutes a day can make big change. But having said about exercise, it is absolutely must that you control your eating habit. Eat healthy food and eat only what is required for your body. Avoid Smoking and drinking Alcohol while keeping away from Sugary drinks. Having proper sleep for 7 to 8 hours is also a must.

Live Healthy and Happy as your health matters not only to you but for all those who depend upon you.

Disclaimer: Information collected from various sources. Published only for public awareness

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Born and brought up in Kerala, I did my schooling in Kerala and graduated (B.Sc Physics) from the Calicut University. I have worked with a Swedish Company from 1994 to 2015, as a Senior Project Manager in their Group IT Division in Dubai. This blog is the result of my strong desire to communicate with others, sharing what I know and what I could gather from various sources.


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