It goes without saying, belly fat (visceral fat) is by far the
most dangerous type of body fat. But did you know that
when losing abdominal fat, it’s not just a matter of
losing one layer of fat but three!
This explains why burning belly fat is such a challenge.
Even if you choose to get liposuction, your doctor can only
work on one layer of abdominal fat which is the subcutaneous fat layer underneath your skin. They cannot surgically remove the deeper visceral fat that surrounds your organs.
No amount of surgery will get rid of visceral fat
only you can banish it!
The three types of fat are:
This type of fat sits deep within your abdominal area and makes up the greatest percentage of your abdominal fat. It sits far below the surface of your skins and is deposited on a large protective membrane that surrounds your major organs known as the omentum. This type fat is wrapped around your liver, pancreas and kidneys. When we refer to a “beer gut” or “pot belly,” it’s visceral fat that we are mostly referring to. In excess, this type of fat is also referred to android fat or central obesity and it is a risk factor to many chronic illnesses.
This type of fat is found right below the skin and usually occurs in greater amounts around the thighs, hips and buttocks. This kind of fat ranks second after visceral fat in terms of being dangerous. However if you have higher levels of subcutaneous fat compared to visceral fat, you are at a lower risk of getting chronic illnesses.
This type of fat is found within your abdominal muscles. Though this is not so common in the belly area, an excess of it has been linked to Type 2 Diabetes.
Where you store fat is determined by your hormones
The amount of fat in your body depends on your diet and how often you exercise.
However, where you store this fat depends on your hormone levels.
Women who have normal pre-menopausal estrogen levels tend to store more fat around
the hips, thighs and buttocks.
On the other hand, men who have normal testosterone levels store more fat around their belly.
People with hormone imbalances as a result of having a thyroid disorder, diabetes or any other condition have higher chances of storing more fat compared to other people, especially in the belly area. If you suspect that this could be the problem, seek help.
Why Is Belly Fat So Dangerous?
As you can probably tell by now, your belly bulge is not simply a wardrobe malfunction.
It goes so much deeper than ‘vanity’ as some people would put it.
Numerous scientific studies have shown that while it’s not healthy to carry excess body fat throughout your body, it’s especially dangerous to carry excess belly fat.
The human body is made such that all the major organs are surrounded by a type of fat
known as visceral fat. It is designed to provide cushioning against all kinds of shocks and
stresses to the heart, pancreas, kidneys and liver.
The problem comes in when the visceral fat is excessive because it can affect how your internal organs function and with time lead to health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases,
stroke, diabetes, cancers and so on.
The main reason why visceral fat is the most dangerous type of abdominal fat is that it impacts
all of your bodily systems because of its affect on hormones and inflammation. This would explain why it’s linked to chronic illnesses which mostly arise from inflammation and hormonal imbalance.
The three main dangers of belly fat are:
1. It’s biologically active.
Whereas the fat stored say in your hips just sits there, visceral fat is biologically active. What does this mean? Well, most health experts actually regard it as an extra gland or organ because it in fact produces hormones that affect your appetite, metabolism and other bodily systems.
2. It increases your risk of getting breast and other cancers.
Gaining fat in general increases your risk of breast cancer because fat produces
estrogen that feeds the breast cancer cells.
3. It’s bad for your heart.
Visceral fat has been shown to release cytokines which are proteins linked to your immune system. This increases your risk of cardiovascular diseases as it promotes continuous insulin resistance
and low level inflammation. Additionally, the fatty acids released by abdominal fat are
associated with bad cholesterol.