For example, if you have an apple-shaped body that makes your belly protrude, then this could be a sign of too much visceral fat accumulated around your organs. Healthdirect Australia, a virtual public health information service, has warned that the apple-shaped body is likely to contain “toxic” chemicals and hormones. “Visceral fat produces more toxic substances than subcutaneous fat,” experts say.
This type of hidden fat naturally accumulates around internal organs, but eating too many calories without getting enough exercise can lead to unhealthy fat storage.
High levels of visceral fat, which is considered biologically active, is associated with:
- High blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- insulin resistance
- Back pain.
If you measure your waist, you can pretty accurately tell if you have too much visceral fat.
In women, the risk of chronic disease increases if the waist circumference is 80 cm or more.
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For men, their physical health is at risk if their waist is 94 cm or more.
Experts at Harvard Medical School explained: “Visceral fat pumps out immune system chemicals called cytokines.”
Two examples are “tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-6,” which “increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.”
The experts added: “One of the reasons that excess visceral fat is so harmful may be its location near the portal vein, which carries blood from the intestinal area to the liver.
“Substances secreted by visceral fat, including free fatty acids, enter the portal vein and travel to the liver, where they can affect the production of blood lipids.
“Visceral fat is directly associated with higher total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and insulin resistance.”
If your waist size exceeds the recommended limit, or you have an obvious apple-shaped body, you can take steps to reduce your visceral fat levels.
Eat less and focus on more nutritious foods, in addition to regular exercise, you can improve your health outlook.
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The NHS offers a free weight loss plan that can also be downloaded as a smartphone app.
On the platform, he shares tips on healthier eating habits and how to be more active.
The 12 week program allows you to take it one week at a time so you can reach your weight loss goals.
In addition to getting rid of harmful visceral fat, you are more likely to be leaner.
Penn Medicine describes the apple-shaped body as “round” with a “wider waist”.
However, there are other body shapes to be aware of: pear, hourglass, inverted triangle, and ruler.
While the apple-shaped body is considered by some to be the most dangerous, research on other body shapes is mixed.
“No matter what shape you are in, the key is to maintain a healthy weight, eat healthy food and stay active,” experts say.