Visceral fat: The most common health conditions caused by having too much – how to lose it

Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

In some people, visceral fat can be identified by a large waist measurement, especially when compared to their hip measurement. But the build-up of fat around internal organs cannot be identified so easily. To help identify the most common health conditions caused by having too much visceral fat, David Wiener, Training and Nutrition Specialist at Freeletics, offered his expert knowledge on the health conditions linked to having higher amounts of visceral fat – what you need to be aware of and what you can do to prevent the risks.

Type 2 diabetes

It is widely known that carrying a high amount of visceral fat can lead to glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes.

David explained: “This is because visceral fat produces a protein called retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4), which has been shown to increase resistance to insulin.”

High blood pressure

Visceral fat is generally wrapped around major human organs, such as the liver, pancreas, and kidney. David added: “Too much visceral fat deposits can lead to inflammation and high blood pressure, which increases the risk of other serious health problems.”

Alzheimer’s disease

Numerous studies have found that visceral fat can make your brain shrink and increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and/or dementia later in life.

David said: “The reason is that the hormones produced by the visceral fat tissue can promote inflammation and reduce brain volume, which leads to a reduction in cognitive function, commonly associated with people who suffer from memory problems.”

Cancer

The link between visceral fat and cancer is still a relatively new discovery, but there is a significant amount of evidence to support it, said David.

“It appears that not only can visceral fat increase the risk of developing cancer – particularly colon cancer, breast cancer (in women), and prostate cancer (in men), but it can also impact the severity of the disease as well.”

So how can you reduce visceral fat?

Managing your visceral fat levels and keeping within a safe range is extremely important, not only to reduce your risk of developing dangerous health conditions, but also for your general wellbeing, said David.

The three main lifestyle factors which can hugely impact your visceral fat levels are diet, exercise and stress reduction.

Diet

A healthy, balanced diet, rich in fibre and antioxidants (which you can get from fruits and vegetables), along with protein and healthy fats, is the ideal diet to prevent visceral fat, said David.

He added: “Sugary foods and highly processed snacks can lead to gain and often build up around your stomach.”

Exercise

Regular exercise incorporating a combination of cardio exercise and strength training is the perfect solution to combat visceral fat, advised David.

He continued: “Cardio can help to burn fat and scorch calories, while strength training increases your overall lean muscle and helps you burn more calories throughout the day.

“If you are new to exercise, or simply looking to switch up your fitness regime, try Freeletics, the leading AI-based fitness and lifestyle coaching app which offers a huge variety of workouts and Training Journeys tailored to your goals and fitness ability.”

Stress reduction

Whilst it is difficult to eliminate all levels of stress from your life, it is important to remember that when your stress levels are elevated, your body produces high levels of the hormone cortisol, which signals your body to store more abdominal fat.

David said: “To prevent this, try reducing your stress by practicing self-care, taking a hot bath, scheduling down time away from your phone, or going for regular walks.”

Source: Read Full Article