Most people determine how healthy they are by the numbers they see on the weighing scale or the size of their waistlines. But not all fats are created equal. If you are carrying extra pounds around your midsection, it is important to understand the distinctions between hard belly fat and soft fat. Their impact on health differs significantly, with hard belly fat posing substantial health threats. This article sheds light on why hard belly fat, also known as visceral fat, is more dangerous than subcutaneous or soft fat.
What is Hard Belly Fat?
'Hard belly fat' or 'visceral fat' might not seem drastically different from 'soft fat', but the body stores these two types of fats in different places and they function differently. Visceral fat is stored in the abdomen and wraps around your body organs, such as the liver, pancreas, and intestines. However, soft fat, also known as subcutaneous fat, is fat you can pinch and is found directly underneath the skin.
How Does Hard Belly Fat Affect Your Health?
Unlike subcutaneous fat, visceral fat actively contributes to long-term diseases. It secretes inflammatory proteins and hormones that can lead to chronic inflammation and insulin resistance. Consequently, this can result in developing health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even certain types of cancer. Hard belly fat increases the risk of premature death, irrespective of overall body fat.
Latest Studies and Findings
Recent studies have shed more light on how hard belly fat contributes to disease. A study published in the journal 'Nature' revealed that visceral fat could affect the immune system, leading to increased vulnerability to diseases. In another study published in 'The Lancet', researchers correlated hard belly fat with a higher risk of premature death, even when the person has a normal Body Mass Index (BMI).
Controversy: Not All Belly Fat Is Harmful
Some experts argue that not all belly fat is detrimental to health. A type of fat called 'brown fat' generates heat and burns calories when the body is cold. However, this type of fat is typically present in minimal amounts in adults.
How To Reduce Hard Belly Fat
Maintaining a proper diet and incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine are key factors in reducing hard belly fat. Eating high-fiber foods, lean proteins, and fruits and vegetables while reducing sugar intake can have significant impacts. Regular cardiovascular and strength-training exercises also aid in reducing visceral fat.
While fat in any form should be controlled to prevent obesity and related diseases, hard belly fat should be of particular concern. Owing to its deep-seated nature and its impact on our organs and overall health, it's imperative to take active steps to reduce it. The right meal planning and physical activity can help manage and alleviate the hidden dangers of hard belly fat. Remember, the journey to better health begins one step at a time.