Do you consider yourself healthy? In the context of body fat most people will answer by their BMI, and if their BMI is normal, their response will be positive too. Recent research has proved that this is not the case. Even if you have a normal BMI, it doesn’t mean you are healthy and especially if you have fat residing in the middle of your body i.e. belly, it may prove more harmful than obesity.
In a 14-year long research study conducted by health scientists, it was found that men who have an average weight and BMI (body mass index) but carry fat around their bellies are twice as likely to die as compared to the obese men. The study proved that women are also affected by this harmful fat, but their numbers are slightly lower than men, i.e. women having belly fat are 32% more likely to die than their obese counterparts.
This is an alarming situation as normal BMI was considered as a standard measure for one’s health, but the recent research has proved otherwise. This leads us to the question, why is belly fat more dangerous than obesity?
Belly Fat, Not Obesity Is The Silent Killer
All fats do not behave alike. For instance, you need a layer of fat called subcutaneous fat to protect your vital organs from the external environment. The other bad kind of fat that we are talking about here is called visceral fat, and it encircles your organs. It does not just sit there; it secretes harmful toxins and chemicals that increase inflammation throughout your body. Due to its proximity to your heart, it severely affects your cardiovascular system.
Visceral fat secretes a chemical called Interleukin 6 which further increases the inflammation. Ultimately, the metabolism of your body is governed by excess body fats that affect adiponectin – a protein that regulates sugar levels and breaks down fatty acids. When the body doesn’t have enough of adiponectin, it tells the system to store more fat that leads to more and more accumulation of visceral fat and this vicious cycle continues. The body is overwhelmed with cholesterol that leads to building up of plaque in your arteries causing the arteries to clog. With the passage of time, the arteries narrow down further causing hindrance in blood transport, increasing blood pressure and ultimately leading to a fatal heart attack.
There is Hope…
Fortunately getting rid of visceral fat is very easy. The key is healthy diet complemented with exercise. A sound nutrition plan will help you to stop this toxic fat from increasing, and rigorous exercise will help you burn it. Having said that, this is the only option if you want to stay healthy because surgeries like liposuction are not an option for visceral fat. Health is a lifestyle change so get ready to set up a nutrition plan and workout. Your dedication will keep your belly trimmed and your heart happy.
Inspired by: USA Today