Visceral fat: A deadly problem

Body fat has good and bad properties. The fat that one can see is not the fat that we should worry about. This fat is in fact fairly harmless. The fat that is hidden deep in the body (visceral fat) is much more dangerous for our health.

The evolution of man

A few thousand years ago our ancestors walked the then-tundra. If people were being chased by wild animals at that time and could not be back in time at the protected camp, then they had a problem. Because the man was hunting for food at that time and the woman usually stayed in the vicinity of the camp, the man's upper body has evolved so much that it is able to store more energy than a woman. In this way the body of the hunters resisted their natural enemies. Hunters could claim these fat reserves if necessary. The reason that the upper body in particular had evolved is because the body addresses fat reserves in the abdominal cavity more easily than anywhere in the body. (Research: prof. Fedrik Karpe, 2012)

Good body fat properties

Even though fat is often portrayed today as the culprit of countless ailments, it does have an important function in our body. Visceral fat (also called organ fat or belly fat) also has a function in our body. The visceral fat acts as a cushion and thus protects our organs against external forces. The fat in our body stores excess glucose and fat that would otherwise remain in the blood and become toxic. This fat also plays a key role in our hormone balance. It only becomes a problem if there is an excess of visceral fat in our body.

Bad properties visceral fat

Increased risk of physical complaints

  • Too much visceral fat will press against the organs. Because of this one suffers from ailments such as shortness of breath, oppressive feeling, listlessness, etc.
  • Visceral fat provides an increased risk of heart disease.
  • Visceral fat creates an increased risk of diabetes-2.

Causes toxic compounds

Here are some examples of which we know what the properties are and what the substances cause in our body. As a rule, one can use: the more visceral fat, the more of these toxic substances one produces.
  • CRP (inflammatory protein) - affects your vessel walls.
  • Granulocyte Colony Stimulant Factor - this substance helps to stimulate inflammatory processes
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha - responsible for tissue death.

Testosterone is declining

In men with a BMI of more than 25, their testosterone levels decrease rapidly. Brazilian researchers found no less than forty percent more free testosterone in men with a BMI of 20-25 than in fat men with an average BMI of 30. This is because fatty tissue, in particular visceral fat, converts testosterone into the female hormone estradiol. The longer-term consequences of this are: less muscle mass and less energy.

Preventing or reducing visceral fat

Reduce or avoid sugar

Soft drinks & sports drinks contain a lot of fast-absorbing carbohydrates. If you are running for twenty kilometers, they may come in handy, but in other situations your body records it as belly fat (visceral fat). Try to avoid all sugary products, this reduces the belly size. Keep in mind that fruit juices also contain bad sugars. You don't have to worry about fruit sugars, they are not easily absorbed and converted into visceral fat.

Sleep enough

If you do not sleep enough, you get fat faster than if you get enough sleep. The amount of belly fat (visceral fat) increases as a result. If one sleeps less than five hours at night, the body builds belly fat ten times faster than if one sleeps six to seven hours at night. (Research: Wake Forest University)

Sport & exercise

It is not possible to lose abdominal fat (visceral fat) through strength training. Strength training increases the volume of muscle mass, but does not burn the visceral fat stored between the organs. Cardio training is needed to lose visceral fat. As you move, your muscles produce an enzyme that picks vent molecules from the blood and burns them. (Research: Duke University, 2011)

Eat whole grains

  • Eat brown rice instead of white rice.
  • Eat whole wheat pasta instead of white pasta.
  • Eat whole-grain bread instead of white bread.

Reduce or avoid stress

Stress can lead to a greater production of the stress hormone cortisol in people. This stress hormone can in turn provide extra storage of visceral fat. Then try to reduce stress. Sports & Yoga are two of many ways to tackle stress.

Do not follow a crash diet!

With crash diets one achieves the opposite of the final goal, namely the loss of visceral fat. Researchers indicate that a crash diet makes the body better in storing visceral fat, so avoid it!

Video: Mayo Clinic Minute: Belly Fat Danger Revealed (February 2020).

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