The Tale of Two Fats

Many people aren’t too thrilled with the fat on their bodies. But did you know that having some fat is actually beneficial to your health? In fact, fat stores energy, influences your ability to fight infections, regulates your blood pressure, and affects the way your blood forms clots. However, even though fat has its perks, many health issues can spring up when fat becomes excessive upon the body.

Our bodies store two types of fat: subcutaneous and visceral. Subcutaneous fat is the useless fat that gathers beneath our skin. This type of fat is what my California plastic surgery practice can perform liposuction on. Interestingly enough, aside from a flattering look upon the removal of subcutaneous fat, no health benefits have been found.

It’s the visceral fat that you really have to watch out for. Stored in your abdomen, this is the evil fat that can cause serious health risks such as diabetes, cardiac disease, high cholesterol, and hypertension among other things. Meaning the less visceral fat you have, the better off you are.

However, don’t just think you are off the hook if you have a small belly. MRIs have shown that even people who aren’t obese can harbor large quantities of visceral fat. What could cause this in so many people? Heredity can play a part, causing fat to be more likely stored as visceral fat. But our unhealthy habits are usually the main cause. That extra scoop of ice cream, or even those extra few beers during the game, could be leading you down a road to health issues galore.

So how can we rid ourselves of visceral fat?

The only real way to ditch this unhealthy fat is to diet and exercise regularly. There are some medications available to help maintain weight as well as Bariatric surgery for patients suffering from obesity. There may even be a surgical procedure to remove visceral fat one of these. But until then, your health is ultimately in your hands and no one else’s.

To your health and beauty,

Vip Dev, MD

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