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The Truth About Belly Fat

Posted by Erika Smith on

fat-belly-fix

Surprise: Everyone has some belly fat, even people who have flat abs.

That's normal. But too much belly fat can affect your health in a way that other fat doesn't.

Some of your fat is right under your skin. Other fat is deeper inside, around your heart, lungs, liver, and other organs.

It's that deeper fat -- called "visceral" fat -- that may be the bigger problem, even for thin people.

Deep Belly Fat

You need some visceral fat. It provides cushioning around your organs.

But if you have too much of it, you may be more likely to get high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and certain cancers, including breast cancer and colon cancer.

The fat doesn't just sit there. It's an active part of your body, making "lots of nasty substances," says Kristen Hairston, MD, assistant professor of endocrinology and metabolism at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

If you gain too much weight, your body starts to store your fat in unusual places.

With increasing obesity, you have people whose regular areas to store fat are so full that the fat is deposited into the organs and around the heart, says Carol Shively, PhD, professor of pathology-comparative medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

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How Much Belly Fat Do You Have?

The most precise way to determine how much visceral fat you have is to get a CT scan or MRI. But there's a much simpler, low-cost way to check.

 

Read more: https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-truth-about-belly-fat#1

 

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