Visceral Fat – what you see is not always what you get

The Life Personal Trainers team spent an afternoon at Adelaide Body Scan today with Dr Nick Kasmeridis, an endocrinologist and diabetes specialist. We had the opportunity to learn about the idexa body scanner which provides gold standard body composition analysis in a 7-10 minute scan. Our key learning for the day was about the relationship between visceral fat and type II diabetes risk ( and related diseases such as heart disease and hypertension).

Visceral fat sits around our abdominal organs and is a result of poor dietary choices and physical inactivity. This is different to subcutaneous fat which is the ‘visible’ fat that is beneath our skin and is typically seen around or legs, buttocks, backs of arms, etc. The interesting thing is that someone can be obese (large amount of total fat) but have low visceral fat and therefore not be high risk for development of metabolic diseases or could be ‘thin’ and have a large amount of visceral fat around their organs.

So what are the strategies to reduce visceral fat and our diabetes/heart disease risk? Ensure that the fats you consume are mostly ‘good’ fats such as olive oil, reduce consumption of refined sugar and exercise regularly. This may or may not significantly change your appearance but will significantly reduce your visceral fat and improve your health.

-Kristin Lewis

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