People view fat as an undesirable addition to their bodies and strive to avoid it throughout their lives. But the word "fat" isn't all bad. It really does play a big part and is very vital for our bodies. Hormones that control hunger and metabolism are released by fat tissue, which also affects insulin sensitivity. Nevertheless, eating too many calories can lead to the growth and multiplication of fat cells, which can result in chronic inflammation and an unhealthful metabolism. These are all the little-known facts about fat and the health implications they may have.
Why body fat is important
Body fat is actually healthy, and here’s why: Not only does it release hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism, but fat also affects insulin sensitivity. Although you might not like the appearance of it on your thighs and bellies, fat tissue houses immune cells that affect inflammation and potentially soothe it.
That being said, it can also cause inflammation if too much fat is consumed. Eating too many calories can produce an excess of fat cells, which leads to chronic inflammation and disturbs a healthy metabolism. That’s why maintaining a balanced diet is key. Here are all the different types of fat and what it says about your body.
Belly fat, otherwise known as visceral fat, is one of the most common types of body fat. It’s internal and is packed around our body’s vital organs, but it starts to become visible when you eat an excess of calories and don’t exercise enough. Too much belly fat can mean a hormonal imbalance or a low metabolism.
Women’s bodies change as they age because the body changes where it stores fat over time. Post-menopause, muscles naturally dwindle, and fat increases. Because of this, additional fat may be stored around the abdominal area. Even if a woman doesn’t gain extra weight anywhere else, visceral fat in the tummy area is quite common.
Upper arm fat
If you’ve noticed that fat is starting to collect in your upper arms disproportionately (the not-so-nice slang term is often “bingo wings”), hormones may be the culprit. Hormone medications or any other reason for fluctuating hormone levels can lead to increased fat production in the upper arms. Women develop arm fat more commonly than men do, especially menopausal women who experience a drop in testosterone.
Sides and hips
Although hip fat is responsible for luscious curves, a lot of people see them as ‘love handles.” The main reason for the accumulation of hip and side fat is genetics, milk, and gluten. Not enough physical activity can cause more fat to be stored in these areas, as well as estrogen-based medication like the contraception pill.
Waist and lower back
If you have lower back and waist fat, it may be due to a low-protein-rich diet. Overconsumption of refined carbs, sugary beverages, and processed foods, combined with a lack of exercise, can cause excess fat to be stored in the waist and lower back. This kind of fat affects both men and women. Bloating can also create the appearance of a larger stomach, but it can be managed with some techniques, providing you with a flatter waist.