Everything you need to know about fat distribution




Accumulation of too much fat in the body can be dangerous for your health. Fat present anywhere in the body isn’t good for health, especially if it is the mid-section.

But fat distribution isn’t something in our hands. It is influenced by factors namely age, sex, hormones level and genes.

Many might not be aware, but there are four basic types of fat, and each one is located in different parts of the body.

Besides, not all kinds of fat are the same and act the same way. Here is how fats are categorised.

1. Subcutaneous fat

This kind of fat sits on top of the muscle, right under the skin. 90 per cent of our body fat is subcutaneous, which is made from the combination of brown, beige, and white fat cells. These kinds of fat can be easily squeezed or pinched in the arms, belly, thighs or buttock. The presence of subcutaneous fat in some amounts is considered normal and healthy. However, too much of it can cause an imbalance in the level of hormones and sensitivity.

2. Visceral fat

Of all, visceral fat is the most harmful kind of fat accumulated in the body. This kind of fat sits deep in the abdominal area, surrounding the organs like kidneys, intestines, heart and others. That is why it is also known as belly fat. Too much visceral fat in the mid-section in a person may lead to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, artery disease, and some cancers. This kind of fat cannot be touched as they are present deep under the tissue and can only be felt.

3. Brown fat

Brown fat is mostly found in babies. Adults too have these kinds of fat, but in a small amount around their shoulders and chest area. It is a special kind of fat that helps the body burn extra calories to stay warm. Research suggests that cold temperatures can activate brown fat and help you burn more calories.

4. ​Essential fat

As the name suggests, this kind of fat is necessary for life and a healthy body. Essential fat is mostly found in the brain, bone marrow, nerves and membranes that protect the organs. This kind of fat is responsible for the regulation of hormones that controls fertility, vitamin absorption, and temperature regulation. According to the American Council on Exercise, a woman is considered healthy if 10 to 13 per cent of their body composition comes from essential fat, while for men it is 2 to 5 per cent.

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