Many people don’t realize that belly fat, also known as visceral fat, is actually different than the rest of your body. The belly fat has been linked to risk for a number of different types of things, from insulin issues, metabolism issues, heart disease, increased cancer risk, and increased type 2 diabetes risk. Even if you’re not overweight, the fat that is in your abdomen can cause a lot of issues.
The body has three different types of fat in it. Check them out:
- Triglycerides circulate in your bloodstream. It makes up about 95 percent of the fat within your body.
- Subcutaneous fat, which is the layer that lies directly below the skin’s surface, between the skin and the abdominal wall.
- Visceral fat is the kind located deep within your belly.
It’s not so much what is in the visceral fat that causes the problem; it’s where the fat is located. It is actually found beneath your stomach muscles, which means that they’re the closest thing to your internal organs. Because of this placement, your internal organs start to use it for energy because it’s more efficient than getting energy from your skin fat. Your body acts much like you do; efficiency is key. If you have an option between two places to get the same exact thing, you’re going to go to the place that is closer.
So, why is this dangerous? In old times, people assumed that fat was just stored energy, but it’s actually much more active than that. All fat cells continually secrete hormones and chemicals; these hormones and chemicals are healthy if you’re at a normal weight, they actually do good things, like regulate insulin, help to regulate appetite by allowing you to feel satisfied after eating, and even help burn stored fat. Essentially, this fat acts how fat is supposed to act. The fat does standard metabolic functions and is absolutely nothing that you have to worry about. That’s why it’s unhealthy to be without fat; you can actually starve yourself or, at the very least, get ill, if you have no fat on your body at all.
Where the problem comes in is when you are overweight or obese. If you are overweight or obese, your body has more fat cells, and those cells are much larger than they should be. These larger cells, as you would expect, work harder and secrete more hormones and chemicals than you need. Essentially, you’re getting “too much of a good thing,” which is when it becomes a very bad thing. The chemicals that come out of your fat cells start to impact your health over time. These chemicals play a huge role in diseases like diabetes, stroke, heart attack, and even certain cancers.
Alright, so why does belly fat get the short end of the stick? Don’t all fats do this? Absolutely not! Visceral fat cells actually produce more of those chemicals to start with, so if you’ve got a lot of fat in your stomach region, those chemicals are actually being produced at toxic levels. As I mentioned above, those toxins are getting into your internal organs because the visceral fat is where your internal organs are getting their “energy” from. So basically, by having the excess stomach fat, you’re actually poisoning yourself in a way in terms of what the fat is leaching into your body. That is incredibly scary.
This is why good health is important. Exercise and diet are incredibly important parts of keeping you healthy. If you’ve noticed that you have an excess of belly fat, make sure to talk to your doctor as soon as possible. The great thing is that belly fat responds well to time tested weight loss methods of eating and exercise. You doctor or health care professional can help you to get on a eating and fitness plan that can help you lose weight in that region so that you don’t continue to cause damage to your body.