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Body fat most often viewed as something we want to lose because we want to look more appealing and not viewed as something that is dangerous. However, fats that are stored around your organs can contribute to heart disease, dementia, cancer, depression, and many other health issues. Excess body fat and obesity are more than unappealing, they can be dangerous. Did you know that certain types of body fat are inflammatory diseases of their own!?

So, what is visceral fat? Visceral fat is excess intra-abdominal adipose tissue accumulation. “Deep” fat that’s stored further underneath the skin than “subcutaneous” belly fat. It’s a form of gel-like fat that’s actually wraps around major organs such as the liver, pancreas, and kidneys. If you have a protruding belly and large waist, that’s a clear sign you’re storing dangerous visceral fat.

Visceral fat is especially dangerous because they also change the way your body operates. Carrying around excess visceral fat is linked with an increased risk for:

  • Coronary heart disease

  • Cancer

  • Asthma

  • Stroke

  • Breast Cancer

  • Dementia

  • Diabetes

  • Arthritis

  • Obesity

  • Sexual dysfunction

  • Sleep disorders

Visceral fat is considered a toxin within the body and has the capability of provoking inflammatory responses, it can signal molecules that interfere with your body’s normal hormone functions. Fat tissue acts like its own organ by pumping out hormones and inflammatory substances. Storage of excess fat around the organs can increase production of cytokines, pro-inflammatory chemicals, which leads to inflammation, interferes with hormones that regulate appetite, mood, and other brain functions.

How Visceral Fat Develops: The brain/body connection is what is responsible for keeping us at a healthy weight or making us susceptible to weight gain.

At the core of your weight, appetite, and mood control are your blood sugar levels, which are controlled by the hormone insulin. Insulin balances your body's blood sugar levels by bringing them down after we’ve eaten a high-carbohydrate or sugary meal. When we digest food, our body breaks down sugar and starch molecules into simpler units called glucose or fructose. These simple sugars enter our bloodstream and trigger the release of insulin from the pancreas, and then insulin has the important job of ushering blood sugar into cells throughout our body. This process supplies us with energy. At the same time, insulin also corresponds to body fat storage.

When there’s too much glucose in our bloodstream and our cells already have filled glycogen storage, glucose is stored as fat instead. he result is usually weight gain, plus even more hunger, which leads to continued overeating. It becomes a viscous cycle for most people.

Natural Ways to Get Rid of Visceral Fat: There still isn’t an easy way yet to determine how much stored fat is either visceral fat or subcutaneous fat, since visible belly fat is a combination of both; just realize that any big belly and large waistline poses a risk and is unhealthy. Women with a waist circumference that’s more than 35 inches and men with a waist circumference more than 40 inches are at increased risk for various diseases.

Research suggests that when you diet, you mostly lose white fat, which is different than visceral fat and tends to be lost or gained evenly all over the body. You’re more likely to lose visceral fat when you do a combination of exercising and eating right — which are both important for hormone regulation.

5 Steps to Lower Your Risk for Storing Visceral Fat:

1. Reduce Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates

2. Fill Up on Non-starchy Veggies, Fats and Proteins

3. Exercise Regularly

4. Reduce Stress

5. Prioritize Getting Good Sleep

Cites:;, and

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