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One of the major concerns of gaining weight, besides that it is unsightly, is the build up of visceral fat. This particular issue has been linked to a variety of health problems in the modern society.
I thought I would take this time to explain what visceral fat is and why it is an issue for all of us who have a weight issue, should investigate and pay attention to reducing it.
What is Visceral Fat ?
Visceral fat, also called belly fat, technically is a type of body fat that is stored in the abdominal cavity. It is located near multiple vital organs, including the heart, intestines, and liver. Unlike subcutaneous fat, which basically acts as a buffer for the organs, visceral fat collects and inhibits the functioning of these major organs.
Why is Visceral Fat Considered Dangerous?
Visceral fat is called the toxic fat because it secretes proteins called Cytokines that affect insulin production and causes inflammation throughout the body. It affects:
- The Brain – increased levels of Visceral fat is tied to a higher risk of Alzheimers and Dementia
- Increased Risk of Migraines in women with belly fat obesity
- Coronart Heart Disease – it is no surprise that this would go along with belly fat
- Breast Cancer – Women are at a much higher risk for Breast Cancer
- Blood Sugar – You are at a twelve fold risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes in you have a high level of Visceral Fat
How do you know if your visceral fat is too high?
The best way to check your visceral fat is with a cat scan; but the easiest method is to check your visceral fat levels is with a measuring tape. If you are a female and your waist measurement is 35 inches or over, than you might have a problem with visceral fat. For a male, if you measure more than 40 inches at your waist, you are starting to have a belly fat problem.
How do we reduce or prevent the build up of Visceral Fat?
A major key to controlling belly fat buildup is in controlling the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol goes hand in hand with high insulin levels and visceral fat build up. The better you can manage stress in your life, the easier it will be to prevent belly fat build up and easier it will be to lose what you have already accumulated.
Take up Yoga, meditation, deep breathing, and stress management techniques to control the fat build up and accumulation.
Visceral Fat can also be controlled and lessened by following a well balanced diet, which eliminates the following:
- Processed Foods
- High Sugar Consumption
- High Saturated Fats
- Hight Glycemic Carbohydrates
Whenever possible, eat more greens, lean proteins, vegetables, and complex carbs, while using low fat cooking methods, such as broiling or baking,
A sustainable exercise program and a good nights sleep are crucial elements in preventing and eliminating weight gain, and should be incorporated in your daily life.
Anything that we can do to prevent or lower visceral fat will go a long way in creating a long and healthy life, with few hiccups along the way.