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How Different Types of Belly Fat Affect Your Health

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The most troublesome area when we gain weight is, without a doubt, belly fat. However, the same belly fat can pose different risks depending on its shape.

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Our bodies have two main types of belly fat: subcutaneous and visceral fat.

As the name suggests, subcutaneous fat is located under the skin. It’s present not only in the stomach but also in the face, arms, and throughout the body. This type of fat is directly beneath the skin, so it can be grabbed with a hand. Most of the fat that can be pinched is subcutaneous fat.

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Visceral fat resides in between the organs and is only found in the torso, not in the arms or legs. Because it’s attached to the organs, it cannot be grabbed with a hand.

Among these, the fat that is worse for health is the visceral fat. Visceral fat can be a significant cause of cardiovascular diseases, fatty liver, and adult diseases, and it can also increase inflammation levels.

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Therefore, people with a lot of visceral fat in their belly need a diet. But how can one tell if the belly is full of subcutaneous fat or visceral fat?

The appearance of belly fat is a determining factor. Simply put, visceral fat is abundant if the upper belly protrudes, while subcutaneous fat is dominant if the lower belly is more prominent. Subcutaneous fat is often located in the lower abdomen, while visceral fat is usually in the upper abdomen.

Let’s delve a little deeper and divide it into three types.

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The first type is the lower belly protruding belly fat. This is more common in women than men. In this case, visceral fat is not yet abundant, and only subcutaneous fat has accumulated. It’s the least risky among the three types. There is no need to worry too much for people with this type of belly fat and whose weight is within the normal range. A little bit of fat is necessary for our bodies for cell wall formation, neural transmission, hormone production, and so forth.

Pixabay

The second type is the upper belly bulging belly fat, where the fat doesn’t fold and pops out from the top. This is when a lot of visceral fat has accumulated and it’s more common in men than women. As mentioned earlier, visceral fat can lead to various diseases such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, fatty liver, cancer, cirrhosis, and inflammation.

This is because visceral fat produces inflammatory substances like adipokines, which cause various inflammations and narrow the blood vessel walls. Therefore, this type with a lot of visceral fat is classified as a medium-risk group for health issues. Even if a person’s weight is within the normal range, those with only the upper belly protruding are just as risky as obese people.

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The last type is when both the upper and lower belly protrudes, creating a layered folding belly. This phenomenon occurs when large amounts of visceral and subcutaneous fat accumulate. It poses a significant health threat regardless of gender and is the worst type of belly fat. People with this type of belly fat need to start dieting immediately.

There are no specific exercises to lose belly fat. Healthy dieting combined with appropriate exercise will naturally lead to weight loss and the disappearance of belly fat. However, for visceral fat, research suggests that alcohol has a significant impact, so it’s recommended to quit drinking.

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