After 30 years, researchers have learned a great deal about the fat stored in the body, and the old idea of fat acting simply as a source of energy has been abandoned. Fat’s far reaching effect on an individual’s health is now recognized, and the fact that accumulated fat in specific areas has a more detrimental effect than fat in others has been confirmed. Belly fat, in particular, the fat that forms around the internal organs, has a far reaching, negative influence on a person’s well being.
This inner fat, known as visceral fat, increases the threat of a variety of medical problems, including diabetes (type 2), dementia, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and more. Although it cannot be seen without specialized equipment, body shape can indicate its presence. Someone with a hefty, round belly, considered apple or pear-shaped, probably has too much visceral fat.
A weight loss as small as ten or twenty pounds can reduce the risk of health troubles, but how does a person lose belly fat? Fortunately, deep belly fat is a ready source of energy for the body. Losing pounds and inches through exercise and dieting means a loss of surface and inner belly fats as this energy source is utilized. What’s more, a basic exercise regime will help keep visceral fat from returning.
A healthy diet works. For example, switching from refined grain to whole grain foods while increasing activity decreases harmful abdominal fat. Further research indicates that a diet with polyunsaturated fats like those found in nuts and heart healthy oils, like safflower and peanut oil, are less likely to contribute to belly fat than foods with saturated fats like palm oil.
Living an active life with a heart healthy diet will help an individual avoid the accumulation of belly fat as well as help those willing to turn their lives, and health, in a new and better direction.