Everyone is just aware of only one kind of fat and that is the outside fat which is visible to our eyes. Most of the people try to reduce this fat to look great and few try to reduce it to lower their risk of getting chronic diseases. But people are not aware of the fact that there is another fat which is stored inside our body and is much more dangerous than the outside fat. The inside fats are called subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. Visceral fat is the worst kind of fat one can have. Usually it is seen in the form of a belly and for obese people it is very evident anyway. Even a lean person can have visceral fat. The presence of this kind of fat totally depends on one’s diet. Visceral fat is gel like fat which wraps around the organs like liver, pancreas, kidney and even heart.
Why is visceral fat so dangerous?
Visceral fat act as a complete organ itself. They produce inflammatory substances and pro inflammatory substances like cytokines which leads to inflammation and hormones, which interferes with regular hormones functioning like appetite, weight, mood and many other functions. The fat itself gets inflamed due to release of a substance called interleukin - 6, which initiates autoimmune reactions. Visceral fat is associated with many chronic diseases like sleep disorders, cancer, stroke, dementia, heart attack, diabetes, arthritis, obesity and depression.
How does the visceral fat develop?
Normally when we eat, sugar is broken down into simpler product like glucose. The blood glucose level increases which signals the pancreas to produce insulin. This insulin facilitates the entry of glucose into the cells and releases energy. Now suppose, if you had 2 to 3 slices of grilled white bread with cheese, your sugar level increases due to breakdown of sugar into glucose. This signal pancreas to produce insulin and thus your glucose enters the cells. Now again after 30 minutes you feel hungry or you simply eat a slice of pizza with a glass of coke, again you blood glucose level rises and signals insulin for its entry into the cells but the cell is already loaded with glycogen then where will this glucose go? This is stored as fat. Processed, refined, sugary foods and drinks breaks down easily and spikes the glucose level. Thus more insulin is released. This extra glucose keeps on adding as visceral fat on continuous intake of modern western diet and ultimately causes obesity.
How to cure or get rid of visceral fat and thus obesity?
Take home message