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Here's How This Type Of Fat Can Be Harmful To Your Body | Healthy Mind - Think Big

Fat is not your enemy. In fact, you do need to eat healthy fats for your body to keep functioning at its best. But there is a particular type of fat you need to keep in check, or your health will decline. This specific fat increases your risk of getting type-2 diabetes, certain cancers, stroke, and high cholesterol. Any guesses? We’re talking about visceral fat. In today’s post, we’ll be sharing 5 facts about this type of fat and how it can be harmful to your body. We’ll also discuss easy diet swaps you can make to keep visceral fat in check. Let’s begin...

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

#01. WHAT IS VISCERAL FAT?

Most people have belly fat and it’s quite normal. In fact, you can even say it’s healthy to have belly fat, as it helps with insulation and protects your important organs. Along with that, you also need to remember your body uses fat as a storage place for energy. When you do activities such as walking or vigorous exercise, your body will dip into the energy stored in your belly fat to get the job done. Even simple activities such as brushing your teeth and other chores require energy that your body gets from the stored fat. 

But as is the case with anything good, having too much of it can be dangerous. Adipose tissue, or more popularly known as visceral fat, is located around the abdomen. It can result in a number of health-related issues. If you have visceral fat, you will have a body shape that resembles an apple. If you have excess fat around your hips, thighs, and butt, then you are more likely to have a pear-shaped body. Visceral fat is dangerous because the fat can get stored in spaces right beside your organs. It’s also important to remember that visceral fat can be dangerous even among people who appear lean. This particular type of fat is also shown to have inflammatory properties compared with the other types of fat in your body. Visceral fat discharges hormones that cause inflammation. Not only does this affect the health of your organs, it can also cause chronic diseases like diabetes and heart-related issues. Research has shown visceral fat can also cause insulin resistance. This is because visceral fat is responsible for producing Retinol Binding Protein 4, or RBP4, which is known to increase insulin resistance. 

What sort of body shape do you have? Hourglass, pear-shaped, or apple-shaped? Do you struggle with belly fat? What are you doing to reduce your waist size? Share your concerns and experiences with the   Healthy Mind - Think Big community in the comments below...  

#02. DIAGNOSIS

It’s important for you to keep track of how much visceral fat you have. It’s not always possible to run to the doctor. The only accurate ways to do it are through MRI or CT scans. But these are expensive and will take up a lot of your time. There are other methods you can use at home to determine how much visceral fat you might be carrying. While these may not be completely accurate, they can give you a ball-park figure as to how much trouble you might be in. Research suggests that visceral fat makes up around 10% of your body fat. So if you can calculate how much body fat you have in total, taking out 10% will determine how much extra visceral fat you’re carrying. There’s another easy way to determine whether you may be in danger or not. If you’re a woman, your waist should not be more than 35 inches. In the case of men, it’s 40 or more. If your waistline is higher than those measurements, you could be in danger. You can also try the waist-to-hip ratio method at home to see whether your visceral fat is at a dangerous level. For this, you will need to stand up and find the smallest part of your waist and measure it. Usually, this is found just on top of the belly button. This will be your waist circumference. The next step would be to find the widest part of your hip or buttocks and measure it. This would be your hip circumference. When you divide the waist circumference with that of your hip, it would be your hip-to-waist ratio. According to research, this ratio should be below 0.85 for women and below 0.9 for men. If your waist-to-hip ratio is higher than this, it means you’re suffering from abdominal obesity. This could also serve as an indication of diabetes. Looking for answers on all the latest health and wellness news? Hit that “Subscribe” button, and join our millions of followers. Stay up to date on all our great Healthy Mind - Think Big content… 

#03. DIET SWAPS

There are no miracle foods that completely get rid of the visceral fat on your body. But you can make certain changes to your diet, which will help you in the long run. Basically, when you snack, it’s better if you choose foods that are high in fiber and protein. This way, not only will you feel satisfied after eating, but you will also avoid overheating. This helps you avoid collecting more visceral fat. Instead of snacking on potato chips and other salty items, it would be better if you had popcorn. Popcorn is usually made from whole grain, which makes it a great source of fiber. If you’re a fan of cheesy snacks, you can try eating things like cheese puffs. You should also avoid eating foods that have trans fats. These are usually present in fried foods, and any recipe that includes margarine. Instead of these fried foods, it would be better if you had meals with lean protein, such as baked chicken and fish. Processed foods aren’t any better either. They too are filled with trans fat. Instead of using canned versions, choose the raw, organic versions and cook those instead. For instance, if you’re in the mood for a kidney bean salad, do not go for the canned version. It will be filled with preservatives, and quite possibly trans fat. Soak the beans overnight, and steam them. Then prepare your fresh and healthy salad! If you’re running short on time, and you need to have the canned ones, make sure you read the labels properly. There should be no unhealthy ingredients added, like sugar or salt. Canned beans with no sodium, sugar or harmful ingredients are a wildly healthy food choice.

#04. EXERCISE DAILY

Apart from diet, you can also try various exercises to get rid of visceral fat. Wherever possible, you should try doing at least 30 minutes of exercise on a daily basis. Make sure your workout session includes both cardio and strength training for maximum benefit. When it comes to cardio training, you can try biking and run, as they’re the most easily accessible. If you can, circuit training would also be a good way to help cut down on visceral fat. While cardio is focused on burning fat, strength training is about building your muscles. As your muscles grow stronger, they will use up more energy. This is a long-term benefit and will help keep the visceral fat to a minimum. In an ideal routine, you should be doing 30 minutes of cardio exercise five days a week, while strength training should be done at least three times a week. 

#05. LIFESTYLE CHANGES

Making some lifestyle changes can also help bring down the visceral fat in your body. When you’re under stress, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. This particular hormone raises the amount of visceral fat stored in your body. 

This is why it’s necessary to reduce your stress levels as much as possible. You can look towards meditation and deep breathing to help you in this regard. There are also some stress management tactics you can explore to see what works for you. It’s necessary for you to keep track of your visceral fat at all times. This gets pretty tricky, as visceral fat is not something visible for you to track. If you don’t keep a lookout, it can be dangerous for your health in the long run. At the same time, with the proper lifestyle, it can be taken care of. 

Interested in knowing more about weight and fat loss? How about you avoid all the foods that make you gain weight? Let’s take a look at a couple more weight-related posts, shall we? Here’s what you need to know... Check out 22 Healthy Habits to Make Your Immune System To The Next Level. You can also try our post on 05 High Thermic Foods That Will Boost Your Metabolism. Go ahead, click one. Or better yet, read both, and learn more about health and fitness. 

Did you know how harmful visceral fat was before reading this post? Will you now be trying to reduce your visceral fat? Let us know in the comments below! 

The information I provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. You should never use content in my writing as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or another qualified clinician. Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if indicated for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. I am not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information in this blog. Thank you.

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