There are two layers of fat that accumulate in the body. One is subcutaneous fat which is the fat that you can grab with your hand and the other on is visceral fat which is present around the internal organs in the abdominal cavity. These include the liver, pancreas and intestines.
Subcutaneous fat is a vital part of our body’s endocrine system. It plays a role in hormone production like hormone leptin which plays an important role in regulating metabolism. So if you lose too much subcutaneous fat you could eventually die.
Visceral fat is the harmful type of fat. Studies have shown that this fat increases risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. This fat is below the abdominal wall. It is so close to the liver that it can be easily converted into cholesterol. Then it can go into the blood stream and deposit in the blood vessels hardening and narrowing the arteries causing atherosclerosis. Health problems from this fat increases if the waist measure more than 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women.
It also makes it harder for the body to use Insulin which can lead to type 2 Diabetes. Visceral fat is related to the following conditions:
The reasons behind visceral fatness are many. Research shows people who are born smaller have higher tendency to gain visceral fat. Studies also show that certain genes may be associated with increased belly fat. Also as people get older they move less and lose muscle which increases their risk of weight gain and obesity. This comes with increase in visceral fat. Post menopausal women tend to store more visceral fat because of decrease in estrogen. Higher fat diets are also linked with higher fat levels and higher BMI. Alcohol can also increase visceral fat storage.
The good news is that despite this menacing health implications studies show that this can be easily controlled. If you are burning more energy than you are consuming you are bound to lose visceral fat. Doing high intensity aerobic activity regularly results in less visceral fat.