Anyone trying to lose weight knows it’s all about burning off the unhealthy excess fat. But as it turns out, not all fat is created equal—and not all people who need to lose fat even know about it.
Almost nine out of 10 people are not aware of the risks of carrying extra fat around their waistline. The danger of visceral fat is related to the release of proteins and hormones that can cause inflammation, which in turn can damage arteries and enter your liver, and affect how your body breaks down sugars and fats. Body fat comes in two varieties:
Subcutaneous fat: The noticeable layer of fat that lies just below the skin that jiggles, dimples, and causes cellulite.
Visceral fat: Found deeper inside the abdomen, under your abdominal muscle and around the organs like the liver, pancreas and intestines. Visceral fat is linked to heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, strokes and other chronic diseases.
What Causes Visceral Fat?
Your genetic makeup is responsible for some of the amount of visceral fat you carry. However, research shows that both your diet and your level of physical activity contribute to your level of visceral fat. People who consume large amounts of calories and people who perform little or no physical activity are likely to have high visceral fat stores.
Health Risks Of Visceral Fat
Because visceral fat accumulates deep within the abdomen, and surrounds organs like the liver and insulin-generating pancreas, it poses certain dangers to health. Although men are more likely to be at risk than women of developing certain diseases, both should be aware of the increased risks of the following health conditions:
- Type 2 Diabetes:
- Heart Disease
- Breast Cancer
- Colorectal Cancer
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Coronary Artery Disease
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Sleep Apnea: Increased visceral fat has been associated with the occurrence of obstructive sleep apnea, since deep abdominal fat can restrict the movement of the diaphragm and limit lung expansion.