What is Visceral Fat?
What you need to know about body fat
Are you fully aware you have 2 types of fat covering your body?
- Subcutaneous fat
- Visceral fat
This is the fat you can see, it makes your jeans too tight lying just below the surface of your skin.
It does play an important part; it keeps your body warm and cushions your bones.
This is the fat you don’t see, it lies around your internal organs like you liver, heart and pancreas and has strong links to many health problems such as heart disease, fatty liver syndrome and type-2 diabetes.
Why visceral fat is so bad for you isn’t exactly known, all fat gives off inflammatory compounds that has negative effects on the body, and it is believed that visceral fat gives off more of these compounds – or that as this type of fat is closer to the internal organ it does more damage.
The biggest thing with visceral fat is you can’t see it so you are unsure if you have it.
The only way to detect it is using BMI scales, MRI or CT scans.
One indicator is your hip waist ratio –
Measure your widest part of your hips, then your waist at the mid- way point between your lower rib and the top of your hip bone.
Divide the waist number by the hip number – if it’s more than 1.0 in a man or 0.85 in a woman you may be carrying visceral fat.
High cholesterol level or high blood sugar may also be an indicator.
It is unclear why some people have visceral fat - there may be a genetic link and women become more prone to it after the menopause.
Stress is also known to be a factor. When we are under pressure fat is deposited in the abdomen.
The one thing we are completely sure of is how to get rid of it
- Ban white stuff!
People consuming white refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pasta have around 10% more visceral fat than those whole stick to whole grains – sugary drinks have also been linked to this visceral fat
- Eat good fats
Saturated fat increases your change of weight gain which in turn increases your chance of gaining visceral fat- however mono saturates fats found in nuts, seeds, olive oil and avocados carry this unhealthy fat out of the body
- Increase Insulin
This is a fibre found in things like bananas and onions they create something called short chain fatty acids in the intestine, these decrease visceral fats – to bust fat you need 30g daily – beware it can cause wind if you aren’t used to it
- Up your intake of lentils and chickpeas
Our body finds these difficult to digest which triggers fat loss around the middle – this stuff is called resistant starch and it also has an impact on our blood levelling hormone insulin
- Be more Mindful
People who are more mindful tend to carry less belly fat than those who aren’t.
- Get Moving
People who don’t exercise are much more prone to visceral fat – there is no evidence that any particularly type of exercise is best both low- and high intensity exercise can see peoples visceral fat fall in as little as 8 weeks.