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Fat is a greasy substance found in animal bodies; typically it is deposited as a layer under the skin or around certain organs. It is widely known that carbohydrates impact blood glucose levels. But studies have proven that fats have a significant effect on blood glucose. ​

Visceral fat vs. Subcutaneous Fat


Article on causes of diabetes explained how fat interferes with the proper functioning of our cells which causes or exacerbates diabetes complications. This article focuses on different types of fat (adipose tissues) in our body, and its effect on the body. 


We all know that excessive fat mass in our body is dangerous for our well-being. Often a larger belly is considered a sign of poor health which is mostly true but did you know that there is a type of fat that is lethal? There are two types of fats (adipose tissues) - subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. Belly fat, for instance, is mostly subcutaneous fat which resides directly under the skin. Having excess subcutaneous fat is not a sign of health by any stretch of the imagination, but it is not as hazardous as visceral fat. The fat deposited around your organs is a far more hazardous to our health, this type of fat is known as visceral fat. 

Visceral fat

Types of fat (adipose tissue)

abdominal cross section

Abdominal cross section

Excess abdominal fat, which gives the belly bulge can be the primary contributing factor for someone being obese. On the contrary, someone who is neither overweight nor excessively high on the BMI (Body-Mass-Index) scale could still have visceral fat. Being overweight or obese and having higher BMI are signs that you have excess fat but visceral fat could be the silent enemy that sneaks up and weighs on your health. One who is not excessively overweight might have enough visceral fat around their organs to increase their risk of diabetes and heart disease. 


In modern day and age, people are resorting quick fixes. Liposuction surgery is one such quick fix to remove excess fat from your body. But unfortunately, visceral fat cannot be removed by liposuction surgery. Studies have shown that liposuction surgery neither reduces the risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol, nor it improves insulin sensitivity. 

When talking about reducing fat, it is imperative that we speak of diet as well. Diet will play a significant role in reducing visceral fat. You can get a recommendation on a diet for diabetes reversal here. You also need to pay close attention to portion size. Try to eat smaller meals but do not starve yourself. Emphasize on complex carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables as well as lean proteins like legume and pulses. Avoid simple carbohydrates like refined grains, bread, and sugars. Also, try to minimize fat intake. Avoid saturated fat and trans fat at all cost. 

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) improves glucose metabolism in muscles. HIIT also improves insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes. It is considered to be one of the best exercises to reduce visceral fat. To be fair, any effective exercise is going to help reduce visceral fat but studies have shown that prolonged sessions like running, jogging, step climbers and elliptical have no quantitative advantage over HIIT. Hence HIIT is a predominantly preferred method of reducing visceral fat due to its time efficiency. 


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