Here’s How to Avoid Visceral Fat – Eat This, Not That

Maintaining a healthy weight is difficult, but it’s not the only factor in good health. Also, not all weight loss is considered equal when it comes to health benefits. When you are overweight, your body stores fat in different places. But do you know that some of these forms of fat are more dangerous than others? Visceral fat accumulates in your body due to poor lifestyle habits and compromised health. This type of fat is the most dangerous because it’s not just around the waist and hips; it also seeps into your internal organs, turning into a life sentence of heart problems and diabetes. Therefore, your lifestyle factors and exercise regime should not only prevent overall weight gain, but should specifically help you avoid visceral fat. Read on to learn more and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure signs you’ve already had COVID.

Female doctor measuring waist of overweight woman with measuring tape in clinic.

Generally, our body fat is stored under our skin. There are also some inside our bellies, wrapped around and between our organs. This internal fat is called “visceral” or “abdominal” fat, and some of it is considered hazardous to your health.

Some facts about visceral fat are;

  • the size to size ratio is a better indicator of visceral fat than BMI
  • Visceral fat is linked to an increased risk of metabolic syndrome
  • Visceral fat is usually preventable through lifestyle changes
Young diabetic woman checking her blood sugar level.

It is essential to understand that visceral fat is not the same as subcutaneous fat. Visceral fat is the fat present in the abdominal cavity.

Abdominal fat can be divided into superficial and deep layers. The superficial layer comprises the subcutaneous fat and the deep layer constitutes the visceral fat. Subcutaneous fat is found under your skin, while visceral fat is found above your abdominal muscles surrounding your internal organs.

Visceral fat is metabolically more active than subcutaneous fat, and it also contains more inflammatory cells and vascular and innervated cells, which produce hormones like leptin and adiponectin.

Subcutaneous fat is closer to the surface of the skin, has a richer blood supply, is less dense, and is easier to lose through exercise or diet. Visceral fat, on the other hand, is found deeper in your abdomen, often surrounding vital organs such as the stomach, liver, intestines, etc. They are harder to lose despite exercise or diet.

Avoiding visceral fat accumulation can reduce the risk of various health complications such as stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Visceral fat is thought to respond to certain lifestyle changes like diet and exercise. Let’s discuss the 4 main factors to improve your healthy weight and avoid visceral fat.

woman jogging along a trail

Exercise plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding visceral fat. Studies indicate that high-intensity interval training can help you lose visceral fat, especially when combined with traditional strength training.

Aerobic and resistance training also prevent the uptake of potentially harmful visceral fat. Adding strength training to your exercise regimen helps you build lean muscle, allowing you to burn calories even while resting.

Experts recommend following moderate-intensity exercise for 30-60 minutes to avoid visceral fat. According to a Research studypeople who performed aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, light jogging, or using a stationary bike, experienced successful reduction in visceral fat.

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Next to a Balanced diet can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Don’t eat a lot of foods with added sugars and simple carbs, especially if you want to avoid belly fat.

Here are some tips that can help you become a healthy eater:

  • Read food labels carefully; sugar is often disguised by different names
  • Eat whole foods and avoid processed foods
  • Eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits
  • Drink more water and avoid packaged juices
  • Limit your alcohol intake

A study looked at seven micronutrients commonly found in all vegetables and how these nutrients might help stave off visceral fat. The only micronutrient positively associated with increased accumulation of visceral fat was monounsaturated fat. A higher intake of monounsaturated fats, found in olive oil and some nuts, may increase the risk of visceral fat accumulation.

RELATED: Daily Habits You Should Follow If High Cholesterol Runs In Your Family

stressed woman

When your stress levels are high, it becomes difficult for your mind and body to respond to cues telling you to eat less or move more. These signals are carried by hormones.

When you’re chronically stressed, your body is flooded with a hormone called neuropeptide Y (NPY), which is involved in regulating metabolism and eating behavior. In addition, stress can activate an adverse reaction in your body characterized by accumulation of visceral fatty tissue around the abdomen, insulin resistance and oxidative stress.

Dietary stress is a common phenomenon that has often gone unnoticed in health care and is thought to be cause metabolic syndrome. Therefore, you need to focus on reducing your stress levels and being more aware of your eating habits. It’s also a good idea to reduce stress levels by engaging in stress-relieving activities such as breathing exercises or yoga.

sleeping woman

A Research study indicates that adults who sleep fewer or more hours each day gain more fat around their organs, called visceral fat, than those who sleep 7-8 hours per night. Additionally, in people whose daily sleep time increased from less than 6 hours to 7 or 8 hours, they gained less visceral fat over time.

Simply put, your sleeping habits play a big role in how much visceral fat you gain over time. Too much or too little sleep is dangerous for your health. Improve your sleep pattern and get enough sleep to avoid gaining visceral fat.

A female doctor takes the blood pressure of a very worried African American female patient.

Too much body fat around your stomach could increase your risk for a number of serious health problems. Researchers found that visceral fat can trigger low-level inflammation and produce proteins that cause blood vessels to constrict and blood pressure to rise. It is further associated with complications of hypertension and heart disease, especially in people with mild to moderate blood pressure issues.

Also, having too much visceral fat has been linked to shorter lifespans and poorer health. Studies have also shown that losing weight by reducing waist circumference is more effective than reducing overall weight.

Over time, chronic inflammation caused by visceral fat can increase the risk of atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and even dementia. But there’s good news: visceral fat is the most responsive to lifestyle interventions. You can lose a significant amount of weight around your midsection by eating better and exercising.

woman consulting a female doctor

If you want to improve your health by losing weight, you should aim to reduce the amount of visceral fat in your body. Because visceral fat is directly associated with various health complications. You can avoid storing large amounts of visceral fat by following a healthy and active lifestyle. By focusing on preventing visceral fat, you eliminate the most serious health risk caused by being overweight. And to protect your life and the lives of others, do not visit any of these 35 places where you are most likely to catch COVID.

Dr Rashmi Byakodi is a writer who helps its readers live a healthier and happier life.

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