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Visceral and subcutaneous fat: why is low fat levels unhealthy?

Excess fat has always been a problem, both visual and health - visceral fat surrounding internal organs. Fat in the human body can be divided into subcutaneous and internal fat. The first, as the name suggests, accumulates under the skin, while the second surrounds the internal organs. Excess visceral fat is a serious threat to human health, but its low level may also have negative effects.



Adipose tissue surrounding internal organs such as the liver, heart or kidneys, absorbs them and thus protects against mechanical damage. The normal level of visceral fat in men is about 3% of body weight, while for women this indicator is slightly higher due to the fat accumulated in the breasts and around the hips. Maintaining the proper level of visceral fat ensures effective protection of external organs, and at the same time does not pose a risk of diseases caused by fatty degeneration of these organs.


The total body fat content should be around 5% in men and around 12% in women. However, it should be noted that some people have so-called abdominal obesity, also known as visceral obesity. There is then an accumulation of excessive amounts of visceral fat in the abdominal area, but the rest of the body is not excessively fat. The tissue accumulated under the skin is a spare source of energy for the body. What's more, fat is involved in many metabolic and hormonal processes. Its deficiency leads, among others, to skin problems and a decrease in testosterone levels and weakening of libido in men. In women, too low fat levels result in menstrual disorders and even loss. There is a decrease in estrogen levels, resulting in greater susceptibility to bone fractures. Excess subcutaneous fat is less harmful than excess visceral fat.

A healthy lifestyle, i.e. proper diet and activity, helps maintain proper levels of visceral fat. A sedentary lifestyle is probably fat storage on the belly. The threat is not only a large amount of fat in the menu, but also diets with an adequate supply of fats. Some of the fatty foods provide valuable fatty acids, the deficiency of which leads to, among other things, skin peeling and inflammation. Low fat also means low content of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. These vitamins play a number of important functions in the human body, among others they protect bones and muscles and have an antioxidant effect. It is worth noting that the problem of deficiency of these vitamins may appear even when using supplementation, because low fat levels will make it difficult to absorb. Contrary to the prevailing myth, low-fat diets do not favor the development of muscle tissue, but weaken it.
It is recommended that fats constitute 20% to 35% of the daily energy intake. Monounsaturated fatty acids should prevail in the diet, while trans fats pose the greatest health risk. Saturated animal fats can be part of a healthy diet, but in limited quantities.