Visceral fat, also called belly fat, is one of the more dangerous types of fat for guys to be carrying around their middle.

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What is Visceral Fat?

Visceral fat is the fatty tissue that sits deep inside your body, around your vital organs (heart, liver, kidneys, etc). This fat is different to subcutaneous fat, fat that sits just under your skin all over your body. High visceral fat can lead to many health implications due to the pressure applied to that particular organ. Imagine putting your hands around any of your vital organs and gently applying pressure for the next 50 years… 

When visceral fat is high, there is higher risk of certain conditions which include:

  • Insulin resistance
  • Glucose intolerance
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
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Body fat isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, some types of body fat play an important role in the human body by helping us absorb vitamins, keeping us warm and fending off chronic illness.

The real problem is visceral fat—aka, belly fat. This type of abdominal fat is packed tightly around the internal organs and has been linked to a variety of serious health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, decreased insulin sensitivity and type 2 diabetes.

To maintain good health and well-being, it’s in your best interest to banish belly fat and keep it off for good. By following the tips below, you can lose visceral fat and lower your risk for chronic disease in the process.

Here are three things you need to know about getting rid of visceral fat:

  1. Visceral fat is packed tightly around internal organs and poses several health risks.
  2. HIIT exercises are an effective and time-efficient strategy for losing visceral fat.
  3. Eating a balanced diet of low-glycemic foods can help you lose visceral fat.

Visceral Fat Explained

The human body has different types of adipose tissue, or body fat. The visible fat located just beneath the skin is known as subcutaneous fat, while fat that is located around our internal organs is called visceral fat.

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Visceral fat gives some guys that tell-tale rounded belly that looks out of place when the rest of their body is relatively thin. You can joke about having a beer belly all you want, but visceral fat is no laughing matter.

According to a 2010 study published in Obesity Reviews, visceral fat contains more inflammatory and immune cells than subcutaneous fat and also has an increased prediction of mortality (see claim: “VAT compared with SCAT…contains a larger number of inflammatory and immune cells…carries a greater prediction of mortality…”)

Research has also shown that guys with abdominal fat have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. According to a 2008 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers found that increased amounts of abdominal fat in men were the strongest predictor for cardiovascular risk factors (see claim: “…a sd unit increase in abdominal fat mass was the strongest predictor of most cardiovascular variables in men [odds ratio (OR)=2.63-3.37; P<0.05]…”)

To sum things up, making a conscious effort to lose belly fat is key to staving off chronic health conditions and remaining healthy.