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What Is Visceral Fat and Why Is It So Harmful?

    Just like bones, muscles, having a small amount of fat in your body is healthy. But that does not mean all kinds of fats are healthy fats. When it comes to fat, our body usually has six different types of fat. They are as follows. 

    1. Brown fat.
    2. Beige fat.
    3. White fat.
    4. Essential fat.
    5. Subcutaneous fat.
    6. Visceral fat.

    Among these six fats, some are good fats, and some are bad fats. Here in this article, we will talk about Visceral fat, which is not at all a good fat. Rather it causes several health issues and dangers to our bodies. 

    What Is Visceral Fat?

    It is a type of fat, which wraps around the abdominal organs;

    • Stomach,
    • Liver,
    • Intestine

    that is situated deep inside our bodies. You cannot always see it or feel it. In fact, though you might have a pretty flat tummy, you can still have visceral fat present in your body. 

    Maybe for this particular reason, the term TOFI has been used, “thin outside, fat inside.” This fat only can be checked with an expensive scan. But without any serious reason, your doctor will not ask you to do that just to check on your visceral fat level. 

    How Is Visceral Fat Measured?

    Visceral fat can be measured most accurately with the help of an MRI scan or a CT Scan. However, as mentioned in this blog post, these diagnostic methods can be expensive, and as such, many doctors will rely on a physical examination of their patients to determine whether they have too much visceral fat.

    However, there are some ways to measure your fat percentage, and some of them will help you to get an idea of visceral fat. 

    Waist size

    This is one of the easiest ways to measure. You just need to wrap a measuring tape around your waist over your belly button. If it measures more than 35 inches for women, that can be a sign of visceral fat. For men, the number is 40 inches. do not make a fool of yourself by sucking your stomach. However, it is not the ultimate way to calculate visceral fat. 


    BMI or body mass index is a formula to calculate how much you weigh as per your height. There are several online tools available that will measure the BMI for you and also tell you whether you are underweight, overweight, or obese. A BMI of 23 and higher is a sign of warning.  

    Hip-to-waist Ratio

    For evaluating this ratio, you need to divide your waist size by your hip size. The number will get you an idea about the visceral fat you have. Usually, a number greater than 0.50 is something you should worry about. 

    Why Is Visceral Fat Dangerous?

    Too much body fat is never good for your health. It can cause several health issues. But in comparison to subcutaneous fat, which just lies underneath your skin, visceral fat tends to be more dangerous and harmful for your overall health. 

    Here are some health issues that you might get as a result of excessive visceral fat. 

    • Heart disease.
    • Heart attacks.
    • Stroke.
    • High blood pressure.
    • Type 2 diabetes.
    • Colorectal and breast cancer.
    • Alzheimer’s disease.

    Research also says that visceral fat is one of the reasons behind insulin resistance. Visceral fat secrets RBP4, or retinol building protein 4. This protein increases insulin resistance. 

    How To Lose Visceral Fat?

    Now you know what dangers are waiting for you if you let your body store more visceral fat. So, it is always advised to lead a proper lifestyle to stay fit and healthy. Here are some ways you should opt for when you are thinking of cutting out your visceral fat. 

    • Swimming.
    • Cycling.
    • Running.
    • Circuit training.
    • Aerobics.
    • Pushups.
    • Weight training.
    • Squats.
    • Stress management.
    • Proper diet.

    Final Thoughts

    We hope this article has provided you an overall idea about visceral fat. It will help you to always be aware of the borderline. In case you think that there is a chance that your body has developed excessive visceral fat, and you are facing some health issues, it is always advised to visit a doctor as soon as possible. 

    The dangers of visceral fat are already known to you, so there is no point in ignoring it. Exercise regularly, eat healthy foods, and reduce your stress to stay away from visceral fat development.