Well hidden under the abdominal wall muscles, visceral fat increases diabetes, sleep disorders, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers.
The fat in our body is not the same everywhere; it varies depending on the area where it is found and can have more or less significant consequences on our health. Fat deposits in the abdomen, called visceral fat or abdominal fat, are linked to an increased risk of various diseases such as diabetes, sleep disorders, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers. This is not the subcutaneous fat from the love handles but the fat under the abdominal wall muscles. Here is what you need to know about this subject.
1. How to identify visceral fat
Having a belly does not necessarily mean that our body is storing abdominal (or visceral) fat. Indeed, if specific waist circumference criteria are supposed to signal abdominal obesity, it is the measurement of blood pressure and lipid balance that makes it possible to establish a particular diagnosis.
2. The impact of a sedentary lifestyle on this type of fat
Unlike leg and hip fat, visceral fat benefits from a very dynamic renewal process. If you don’t eat enough, it gets reduced much faster than other types of fat deposits. And it generates a lot of energy when it is needed. But our sedentary lifestyle and our often excessive food intake prevent it from turning into energy, and its effect on health is more severe than other types of fat.
3. Get rid of visceral fat.
Experts interviewed in 2017 by the British Guardian site recalled that abdominal fat is relatively easy to “burn” by practicing half an hour of vigorous exercise each day without increasing your food intake or reducing food portions. Classic abdominal exercises should be avoided as they only help the muscles keep fat in the abdominal cavity, but any physical activity is welcome.
4. It increases your waistline… And the risk of dementia.
According to a study published in July 2021, conducted by researchers at the University of South Australia, harmful body fat can also increase the risk of dementia and stroke.
Scientists have examined the gray matter of the brains of around 28,000 people. For the first time, they found that an increase in body fat gradually leads to the atrophy of gray matter in the brain and, as a result, a higher risk of deteriorating its health. The researchers identified that in the middle to old age groups (37-73), the brain’s gray matter decreased by 0.3% for each additional 1kg / m 2, equivalent to extra weight of 3 kg for one. average height person (1.73 cm)
“We found that people with higher levels of obesity, especially those with metabolically unfavorable and neutral adiposity subtypes, hadmuch lower levels of gray matter in the brain, “says lead researcher Dr. Anwar Mulugeta. He says he has not found conclusive evidence to link a specific obesity subtype to dementia or stroke.