Having some amount fat in your body is necessary but not all types of fat are healthy. Visceral fat is one such thing. It is known as hidden fat as its stored inside the abdominal cavity around most vital organs such as the liver, pancreas, intestines etc. If you have belly fat it need not necessarily mean you have high visceral fat. It could just be Subcutaneous fat which is just below your skin.
All of us have a certain amount of visceral fat , but those of us with a larger percentage may be exposed to increased risks of various health problems such as type 2 Diabetes, increased cholesterol leading to cardiovascular disorders, cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
Visceral fat or Active fat as it is commonly referred to can be quite dangerous as it can cause serious health problems.
It can cause insulin resistance even if you are not diabetic or prediabetic as it secretes a retinol binding protein that increases insulin resistance, thereby leading to glucose intolerance and Type 2 Diabetes.
Accumulation of Visceral fat could be because of various reasons. Lifestyle and dietary habits are the most common reasons. Stress is also known to affect the accumulation of visceral fat. Studies show that those who undergo a lot of stress tend to have higher visceral fat. This is because the hormonal changes that take place during body’s reaction to stressful conditions lead to visceral fat accumulation.
On top of messing with insulin, too much visceral fat also inhibits the hormone adiponectin, or the “fat hormone.” Studies show that adiponectin levels decrease with visceral fat, but don’t correlate with subcutaneous fat. Meaning, adiponectin functions as a fat regulator, and too little can cause your body to pack on more fat than it needs. Both high visceral fat and low adiponectin levels are useful indicators for increased risk of cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure, increased LDL and VLDL cholesterol (Bad Cholesterol), reduced HDL cholesterol (good Cholesterol), stiff arteries, and hypertriglyceridemia (excess free fat in the bloodstream).
In order to get rid of Visceral Fat, a change in lifestyle is extremely necessary. Having balanced and timely meals along with regular physical activity is necessary to make sure you shed that fat and do not gain it back. Daily fruit and vegetable intake should be a minimum of 5-6 servings. This will make sure the body gets enough vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which help improve the nutritional status of the body and also flush out the toxins, thereby helping boost the overall metabolism.