~Dr. Raghav Thukral
What Is Visceral Fat?
Visceral fat is fat that wraps around your abdominal organs deep inside your body. You can’t always feel it or see it. In fact, you may have a pretty flat tummy and still have visceral fat. That’s sometimes called TOFI, or “thin outside fat inside.”
Only an expensive scan can measure how much belly fat is hiding in you, but your doctor won’t order a test just for that reason.
Dangers of Visceral Fat
Too much of any body fat is bad for your health. But compared to the fat that lies just underneath your skin (subcutaneous fat), the visceral kind is more likely to raise your risk for serious medical issues. Heart disease, Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and high cholesterol are some of the conditions that are strongly linked to too much fat in your trunk.
Researchers suspect that visceral fat makes more of certain proteins that inflame your body’s tissues and organs and narrow your blood vessels. That can make your blood pressure go up and cause other problems.
How visceral fat is diagnosed
The only way to definitively diagnose visceral fat is with a CT or MRI scan. However, these are expensive and time-consuming procedures.
Instead, healthcare providers will typically use general guidelines to evaluate your visceral fat and the health risks it poses to your body.
According to research, about 10 percentTrusted Source of all body fat is visceral fat. If you calculate your total body fat and then take 10 percent of it, you can estimate the amount of visceral fat.
An easy way to determine if you may be at risk for related health problems is to measure your waist.
According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, if you’re a woman and your waist measures 35 inches or larger, you’re at risk for health problems from visceral fat.