It’s no secret that carrying excess body fat can lead to many health problems.
But it’s starting to prove that not all oils are created equal, and what matters most is where you store that oil.
The most dangerous type is called visceral fat, a tough inner layer that usually forms between the organs inside the abdomen.
This is usually the cause of a beer belly and contributes to an unfavorable body shape – it is considered the physique with the highest risk of health problems.
Subcutaneous fat, on the other hand, is a loose type of fat that settles under the skin and causes cellulite.
This type of fat is actually the least harmful and accumulates in the thighs and hips rather than the gut, creating a pear-shaped body shape.
Visceral fat is dangerous because it is thought to release inflammatory chemicals and hormones into the bloodstream. It is associated with chronic diseases such as heart disease and fatty liver disease.
The proximity of visceral fat to our organs increases the risk of these inflammatory chemicals entering them.
WHERE ARE THE DANGEROUS SPOTS OF FAT IN THE ORGANISA?
Evidence shows that not all oils are created equal and where you store this oil is important. The most dangerous type of fat is called visceral fat, the tough inner layer that forms between the organs inside the abdomen. Usually, it is the cause of beer belly and contributes to the undesirable shape of the apple body, which is considered the physique with the highest risk of health problems. Subcutaneous fat, on the other hand, is a loose type of fat that settles under the skin and causes cellulite.
Subcutaneous fat does not release these chemicals and serves as a layer between the skin and muscles.
The study concluded the difference in risk earlier this month.
It found that people with higher levels of visceral fat around the thighs, rather than the subcutaneous fat that causes cellulite, had up to a third higher risk of developing heart defects. The link kept the truth, even if people were otherwise thin.
Researchers at the University of Texas – who followed 2,399 people between the ages of 70 and 79 for an average of 12 years – showed that fat in muscle is inflammatory.
So where are the danger zones for fat storage? And what can you do to reduce the risk?
legs and thighs
Many women were offended that they have a big bottom or thick thighs.
But in recent years, curves have become fashionable, helped by the rise of Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj. And with good reason.
Half of the women did not exercise at all in the past year
The survey found that almost half of women had not done any vigorous exercise in the past 12 months.
The figure is lower for men, with just over a third saying they did not work during that period.
The data comes from a survey of 8,000 adults by the charity Nuffield Health.
Britons are advised to do at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, such as jogging or swimming, or two and a half hours of moderate activity, such as brisk walking or tennis, every week.
Tennis coach Judy Murray, mother of Wimbledon champion Sir Andy Murray, said the data showed a “really big challenge” ahead in terms of “getting the nation active”.
More than a third of women had experienced a deterioration in their health in the previous 12 months, according to findings published today.
Meanwhile, 47 percent said they stopped doing any vigorous exercise.
Among men, 28 percent said their physical health had deteriorated during the same period, while 34 percent admitted to not doing any vigorous activity during that time.
Two-thirds of women report a lack of motivation, compared to half of men.
And 35 percent of women said they don’t know where to start when it comes to exercising, compared to 28 percent of men.
More than half (55 percent) say lack of work-related time is a barrier, compared to 46 percent of men.
Ms Murray, an ambassador for the Healthy Nation Index, said women in particular were “not taking the time to focus on their wellbeing”.
Ms Murray added: ‘I’m hoping to find something active that everyone can enjoy for a few minutes and also find someone to do it with.
“Exercising with friends helps me find both motivation and a routine, and gives me a boost for my mental health, so I encourage everyone to get some friends together and get going.”
Nuffield launched the Make Time for Your Mind campaign, which encourages people to take an extra five minutes of exercise a day to improve their mental and physical health.
It comes as the UK’s obesity crisis is escalating. According to the latest data, 64 percent of adults are overweight or obese in 2019.
However, an analysis released by Cancer Research UK last month predicted that more than 42 million adults in the UK will be overweight by 2040, which is around 71 per cent of the country.
Exercise is one of the best ways to lose weight, with the NHS recommending that adults exercise every day, or at least four to five days a day.
They also recommend that Britons reduce the amount of time they spend sitting or lying down, and do some physical activity to avoid long periods of immobility.
If you’re a woman, there’s no better place to store fat – unless it’s the cellulite type buried deep in the body, just under the skin.
Studies have shown that in addition to staying away from vital organs where fat can cause damage, fat stored in the legs has more than 100 genetic differences and is less harmful than abdominal fat.
According to a 2010 study, gaining weight in the lower body increases fat cells, while extra filling in the midsection encourages the expansion of fat cells, reports The Telegraph.
The latter is dangerous because when fat cells become too large, fatty acids begin to leak into the bloodstream, where they become toxic to the body.
The fat in the middle
It is the most dangerous type of fat, increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes and even dementia.
It is harmful because it surrounds the internal organs.
Therefore, people with an apple-shaped body at any age are at the highest risk for health issues compared to other body types.
A 2019 study of nearly 160,000 women found that those with a healthy BMI but a large gut and a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.85 or higher were 44 percent more likely to die than their slimmer peers.
Their risk of heat illness and cancer was higher than those with a BMI that made them clinically obese but had a relatively small average body mass.
Hard belly fat – visceral – is more dangerous than soft belly fat – subcutaneous, because it surrounds the internal organs.
Visceral fat is also biologically active, meaning it releases inflammatory chemicals and hormones into the bloodstream that can enter organs.
Men tend to store more belly fat than women, hence the term “beer belly.”
The sex hormone estrogen is thought to protect women from “central obesity” by sending fat to the hips and thighs instead.
A larger bust can be a sign of obesity, which itself is a risk factor for a host of health problems.
But a 2008 Harvard University study of more than 90,000 women in their 20s found that those with D cups were three times more likely to develop diabetes than their peers with A cups in middle age.
However, a separate 2012 study found that women with larger breasts are more prone to a dangerous type of visceral fat.
Studies have shown that the larger your neck, the greater your risk of heart disease.
A lot of neck fat indicates that you also have a lot of upper body fat, which means that free fatty acids are released into the bloodstream and increase the risk of heart disease.
A fatty neck also blocks your airways while you sleep, reducing your quality of sleep.
This, in turn, prevents the organs from resting and recovering at night, and can increase the burden on the heart.
In a 2009 study presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association, researchers found that adults with large necks had higher levels of bad cholesterol.
The study of 3,320 people also warned that wide necks were associated with higher levels of blood fat, insulin resistance and blood sugar – risk factors such as diabetes.
A recent study in the Journal of American Heart Health found that neck circumferences greater than 14 inches for women and 17 inches for men are associated with a greater risk of heart problems than traditional measures such as BMI.
What can I do to reduce my risk of dangerous fat accumulation?
Visceral fat accumulated in the body cannot be taken subcutaneously.
However, losing weight and reducing total body fat can be down to healthy levels, and there are many ways to avoid this:
- Research shows that having more calcium and vitamin D in your body may be associated with less visceral fat. So load up on leafy greens like collards and spinach. Tofu and sardines, as well as dairy products such as yogurt, cheese and milk are good choices;
- Replace saturated fats found in fatty red meat with monounsaturated fats found in olive, peanut and canola oils, avocados and walnuts. It seems to prevent the accumulation of intramuscular fat;
- Get at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise two to four times a week. Visceral fat accumulation is reduced by 7 percent, according to the study. Vigorous exercise includes brisk walking, cycling, aerobic exercise, and strength training.