What Makes Visceral Fat So Dangerous?

fat, obese, obesity

Few things spark greater fear among health-minded individuals than the mention of “belly fat.” Visceral fat is not simply an accumulation; it produces chemicals which increase your risk for serious health conditions.

Visceral fat cannot be completely eradicated, but following a low-carb diet and engaging in regular physical activity may help stave off excess belly fat. But what exactly causes it in the first place?


Subcutaneous fat (the kind you can pinch) differs from visceral fat, which accumulates deep inside of the abdominal region. Your type of body fat could have an impactful impact on health issues; researchers are exploring why certain people store more visceral fat than others – whether genetics are involved, diet or exercise could all play a role.

Visceral fat may be hard to spot, but its presence can cause you to look more apple-shaped while producing chemicals and hormones that are harmful to your health. These substances can damage arterial walls, enter liver and boost production of cholesterol as well as other blood lipids. In addition, visceral fat has been linked with insulin resistance which increases your risk for diabetes.

Researchers have recently determined that gut bacteria have a profound impact on where and how your body stores fat, accounting for 68% of variation in visceral fat levels – more than twice what genes account for (18% total variation).

If you eat too many calories and don’t get enough physical activity, your body may start storing extra fat – including visceral fat. Men tend to store more visceral fat than women; getting older may affect where your body stores fat as well.

Reduce visceral fat by adopting a healthy diet rich in low-fat dairy, whole grains and lean proteins such as chicken or seafood. Furthermore, limit sugar consumption to no more than 10% of your total calorie intake – sugar can be found in many processed foods and drinks including fruit juice, candy and ice cream.

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Visceral fat can also be lost through eating more veggies and fruit, managing stress better and exercising regularly. Visceral fat is easier to lose than subcutaneous fat since its metabolism occurs quicker; sweat or pee can eliminate it more efficiently than subcutaneous fat can. You should visit your healthcare provider regularly in order to measure waist size and monitor visceral fat percentage so they can recommend a diet and exercise plan tailored specifically to you.

what makes visceral fat


Visceral fat, stored deep within our abdominal regions, wraps itself around organs such as liver and intestines to increase your risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity. Although many assume only overweight or obese individuals possess excessive visceral fat stores in their bodies, thin people too can have too much visceral fat storage in their bodies.

An effective way to lower visceral fat levels is limiting sugar consumption, since more sugar means more visceral fat accumulation. Sugar can be found in many processed foods like soft drinks and candy bars.

Lifestyle changes that can help reduce visceral fat include getting enough rest and managing stress levels. Sleep can help regulate your stress hormones that contribute to visceral fat accumulation; managing stress might involve practicing yoga or meditation, taking a walk through nature or getting massage therapy as ways of relieving pressure.

Exercise can also help you shed visceral fat. Studies have demonstrated that people who engage in regular moderate-intensity workouts experience a decrease in visceral fat even without changing their weight.

Eating healthily and spreading out your fat intake throughout the day will help prevent visceral fat storage by giving your body time to digest and absorb fatty acids from your meals. Eating smaller meals also prevents lymphatic vessels that collect chylomicrons from becoming overloaded, thus slowing their contraction frequency and amplitude.

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Genetics determine how your body stores fat, but diet and exercise play an equal part. Visceral fat tends to collect around your organs in your abdomen while subcutaneous fat is stored beneath the skin (think “apple-shaped” instead of “pear-shaped”). Both types can contribute to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and metabolic syndrome – however visceral fat responds better to weight loss/diet than subcutaneous fat, so visceral should be your initial target when looking to make improvements.

Diets high in sugars and processed foods tend to increase visceral fat, decreasing insulin processing capacity and potentially raising your risk for Type 2 diabetes. To decrease visceral fat effectively, adopt a healthy eating plan consisting of lean proteins, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and fresh fruits and vegetables while limiting sugars, added salts and trans fats.

Keep a diet journal to help keep yourself on the right path with food, and become mindful about what you eat and your progress. It can also serve as an effective self-monitoring tool.

Reading labels is another excellent way to heighten your awareness of what goes into your diet. Pay particular attention to the ingredients list – too many chemicals or preservatives could indicate a need to make some adjustments in what you eat.

Physical activity is key to both losing visceral fat and keeping it away from returning. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times each week – such as walking, jogging or biking. Exercise that engages larger muscle groups like squats or deadlifts will burn more calories and fat and has greater impact on hormones that control weight and blood sugar regulation.

Dieting and exercise have proven themselves the most successful ways to shed visceral fat over time. If you are having difficulty controlling it on your own, working with a health coach might help create an individual nutrition and fitness plan tailored specifically to you.

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Subcutaneous fat can be easily pinched off your belly, while visceral fat forms behind abdominal muscles and packs around organs such as liver and intestines, increasing your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Visceral fat is more prevalent among overweight individuals but even thin people may carry enough to increase their chances of chronic health conditions.

Visceral fat accumulation can be caused by numerous factors, including diet and lack of exercise. Diet and regular exercise are the best methods of decreasing visceral fat, though medication or liposuction may also be considered options. A diet rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains and lean proteins as well as reading labels to avoid added sugar is key to decreasing visceral fat. It’s also essential that at least 7 hours sleep be achieved each night as deprivation increases your hunger hormone ghrelin and leads to overeating.

Visceral fat has been linked with insulin resistance, leading to type 2 diabetes. Exercise can improve insulin sensitivity and decrease inflammation – both benefits that help with weight loss and visceral fat reduction. If you decide to exercise regularly, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each day; even simple activities like walking or taking the stairs instead of driving may offer significant health advantages; for maximum effect consider exercises targeting large muscle groups like squats and deadlifts.

Visceral fat is one of the leading contributors to metabolic syndrome, or having high blood pressure, cholesterol and visceral fat. This condition increases risk for heart disease while contributing to depression and memory loss. Studies suggest that diet combined with exercise is the most effective way to shed visceral fat for good. [72]


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