What is the difference between visceral and subcutaneous fat?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “What is the difference between visceral and subcutaneous fat?” and provide information on what exactly is visceral fat, what exactly is subcutaneous fat, the risks of excess fat as well as some ways to lose fat.

What is the difference between visceral and subcutaneous fat?

The difference between visceral and subcutaneous fat is their location. Visceral fat is located around the organs whereas subcutaneous fat is located beneath the skin.

An increase in visceral fat in the body can elevate the risk of developing metabolic diseases.  A certain amount of subcutaneous fat tends to be protective.

Another difference between visceral and subcutaneous fat is that subcutaneous fat can be felt beneath the skin simply by touching the skin beneath the underarm. On the other hand, visceral fat surrounds the internal organs of the body. Thus, you cannot touch them.

What exactly is visceral fat?

Visceral fat is the fat that surrounds the body organs like the liver, intestines, and stomach. It cushions the internal organs and thus protects them. A certain degree of visceral fat is beneficial.

What exactly is subcutaneous fat?

Subcutaneous fat is the fat that is found beneath the skin. It can be present in some areas of the connective tissues. An excess amount of subcutaneous fat is also harmful.

What are the risks of excess fat? 

Some of the risks of excess fat (both visceral and subcutaneous) are as follows:

  • Excess fat can increase the risk of developing diabetes. Diabetes can further cause complications in the heart, brain, eyes, kidneys, nerves, and feet.
  • Excess fat can increase the risk of developing hypertension. This can further increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Furthermore, there can be a narrowing of blood vessels which can result in coronary heart disease or atherosclerosis.

  • An increase in fat can result in Obesity. Obesity has been linked to various kinds of cancers such as breast, pancreas, colon, and kidney.
  • Multiple studies have associated the presence of excess fat with dementia. Individuals with higher body fat are associated more with dementia compared to lower body fat.

What are some ways to lose fat?

  • Indulging in exercises can be one of the ways to lose fat. Perform cardio for 30 minutes a day to lose fat. Some of the aerobic exercises that you can do are swimming, running, cycling, and dancing.

Apart from this, you can also do exercises that benefit your core muscles. These can include strength training exercises and HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training). 

The most popular form of strength training exercise can be weight lifting. HIIT can be a combination of low and high-intensity exercises. 

Furthermore, indulging in HIIT and resistance training can build your muscles too. Resistance training can be done 2 times a week.

  • Diet can be another way to lose fat. Consuming foods high in fiber can promote satiety and aid in losing weight.

Fiber is present in whole grains, fruits, veggies, and pulses. Both soluble and insoluble fiber can raise blood sugar levels slowly. This can aid in losing weight.

  • Consuming good amounts of protein can be beneficial. Protein can be beneficial in building muscles. Protein can be found in pulses, seafood, soy, peas, and nuts.
  • Consuming water can aid in losing weight. This is because water can promote satiety too. Avoid consuming juices, especially commercial ones as they are high in sugar. Avoid consuming carbonated water as they contain high levels of phosphorus.

Consume plain water, coffee, or green tea. Soups and coconut water can be good options too. Do not consume coffee that is high in cream and sugar. Catechins present in green tea can aid in losing weight effectively. 

  • Proper sleep is known to aid in losing weight too. Individuals who have difficulty sleeping cannot lose weight. This is because inadequate sleep can trigger hunger hormones which can cause them to end up eating more.

How to determine your fat levels?

One of the easiest ways to determine fat levels can be to check BMI (Body Mass Index). If your Body Mass Index is between 25 to 29.9, you are likely to be overweight. If your BMI is higher than 30, you are likely to be obese.

Apart from this, check waist circumference too. If the waist circumference is higher than 40 inches in men, they are obese. If waist circumference is higher than 35 inches in women, they might be obese.

Conclusion

In this brief article, we have answered the question, “What is the difference between visceral and subcutaneous fat?” and provided information on what exactly is visceral fat, what exactly is subcutaneous fat, the risks of excess fat as well as some ways to lose fat.

Reference

https://www.insider.com/guides/health/conditions-symptoms/visceral-fat-vs-subcutaneous-fat

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