We have been taught that “all fat is bad”. Whether it’s the fat on your body or the fat you eat. According to the food pyramid, we are supposed to eat 6-11 servings of breads and cereals, and an extremely limited amount of fat. Those guidelines couldn’t be further from the truth; in fact, they are what leads to metabolic disease.
As many of you are learning, eating fat doesn’t make you fat; sugar, processed foods, grains, breads, and vegetable oils are actually the culprits that lead to the toxic “bad” fat on your body, while eating “healthy” fats can actually improve health.
Let’s take a look at the different types of fat stored on the body.
What are the Different Types of Fat?
Subcutaneous Fat (or White Fat)
Subcutaneous fat is the most common type of fat; it covers your entire body underneath the skin. As you accumulate more and more, it is like putting on more layers of clothing; you look puffier with each level. White fat has very little metabolic effect on the body. The body sees it as storage for extra “energy”. Its purpose is to provide energy and fuel when the body is able to tap into that fuel system and not consistently depend on dietary sugar and carbohydrates. Too much white fat leads to obesity which is a leading risk factor for most metabolic diseases.
Brown fat, also known as the “healthy fat”, stores energy in a smaller space than white fat. It is packed with iron-rich mitochondria, which is how it gets its brown color. Mitochondria holds ATP which is true cellular energy. Brown fat is metabolically active and healthy.
All people are born with brown fat, but there is also an ability to turn white fat into brown fat; this recruitable type is found in muscles and white fat throughout the body.
When brown fat burns, it creates heat without shivering; this process is called thermogenesis and leads to calorie burn as it contains mitochondria and helps increase metabolism and fat burning. One of its functions is to produce heat to help maintain body temperature in cold conditions. It also breaks down blood sugar and fat molecules to create heat and help maintain body temperature.
Exposing your body to cold temperatures may help convert white fat into brown fat cells. Unlike white fat, brown fat burns calories to generate heat. Exercise also may increase brown fat, as it helps produce a protein called irisin that helps transform white fat into brown fat.
Visceral fat is “active” and has an inflammatory response. It is the fat that surrounds our organs in our gut; it is the fat that causes the stomach to protrude. Visceral fat is also designed to have an immune response. Most people have too much visceral fat, and it leaks inflammatory cytokines that can cause leaky gut, autoimmune issues, food allergies, intolerance, and intestinal barrier dysfunction. We need some to protect us from pathogens or if we go septic. It is helpful for acute situations but not for chronic leakage, as this fat leads to leaky gut and inflammatory disease.
One problem with visceral fat is the physical pressure it puts on our abdominal cavity; as the organs get more pressure, our blood pressure also tends to rise and increases our risk for heart attack and stroke. It also impacts the hormone adiponectin, which is referred to as our fat hormone. It regulates our metabolism, and visceral fat inhibits adiponectin, leading to a slower metabolism.
What Causes Visceral Fat?
Too much visceral fat is caused by high levels of insulin. Insulin becomes elevated by high levels of dietary sugar and carbs, frequent eating, omega 6 fatty acids, and stress. Sixty-five percent of the United States is pre-diabetic and insulin resistant. Insulin resistance is a protection mechanism to limit the amount of insulin and sugar going into the cells. The body stores the excess sugar as visceral fat for protection. Inflammation increases and leads to the above mentioned diseases.
What Foods Increase Visceral Fat?
- Hydrogenated Soybean Oil and All Hydrogenated Oils. In a study, these oils led to not only increased visceral fat, but also impaired glucose metabolism and increased insulin resistance. Vegetable oils stay in the body for over a year, and the damage is long-lasting.
- Ultra Processed Foods. It has been shown that these foods not only increased visceral fat but also increased overall fat accumulation. Additionally these foods damage the signaling of hunger satiety from all foods, including healthy foods, which leads to overeating. These foods include almost all packaged foods. This also can lead to serious gut dysbiosis and compromised microbiome.
- Fructose. Fructose has glucocorticoid receptors, which respond to cortisol. When we become insulin resistant, and our body doesn’t respond as well to the incoming glucose and fructose, lipoprotein lipase doesn’t respond as well, and the subcutaneous fat cells don’t accept anymore fat; as a result the fat gets stored as visceral fat. Fructose is found in high fructose corn syrup and processed foods. The fructose from whole fruit can contribute to the issue but that is not the main culprit. The same amount of glucose doesn’t increase visceral fat like fructose does. You need to focus on low sugar fruit and abstain from highly processed foods, high fructose corn syrup, fruit juices, and high sugar fruits.
- Alcohol. In a study, visceral fat was correlated with those who drank 14 plus servings of alcohol per week. This is because of the way ethanol is processed. Beer is worse than alcohols like gin, tequila and vodka. Beer is more damaging to the gut microbiome in addition to being hard on the liver. In addition to increasing visceral fat, the body has no storage capacity for alcohol, so it will burn the alcohol as soon as it can and store any other calories that are ingested as fat.
How Do You Lose Visceral Fat?
- Intermittent Fasting combined with Low Carb Diet. Intermittent fasting on its own may help with lowering insulin a bit, but it won’t help with visceral fat if the fasting is complemented with inflammatory oils and processed foods. Focusing on a low carb, low sugar diet will help reset insulin sensitivity and lead to less visceral fat storage.
- Accelerated Keto®™. Accelerated Keto®™ includes additional fat burning ingredients that de-fat the liver. It is lipotropic, meaning it breaks down saturated fats into unsaturated fats. These unsaturated fats are easier for the body to utilize and easier for the body to convert to ketones.
Imagine a wax candle that is solid, and when we light the candle, the solid wax (fat) turns into a liquid, which is then taken up by the wick to burn easily. Because of this property, it is able to de-fat the liver as well. It is well known that the liver is responsible for converting stored fat into ketones. It is the liver that produces the ketones from fats. The more a person’s liver is defatted and unclogged, the easier it is for the liver to function in all areas including producing ketones. The liver is also where the thyroid hormone converts from T4 to T3, and as the liver function becomes better, the thyroid works better as well, increasing metabolism further. This mechanism leads to diminishing visceral fat, in addition to subcutaneous fat.
Accelerated Keto®™ also contains HMB which is directly related to preventing muscle loss while losing body fat.
- Ascent Diet Cleanse. The Ascent Diet Cleanse includes the Accelerated Keto®™, Acceleradine®, Accelerated Silver®, and additional supplements to reset the body and decrease visceral fat significantly. It has been shown to lower Insulin and blood sugar, increase energy, increase fat-burning, curb cravings for carbs and processed foods, and cleanse the liver. All of these factors synergistically lead to an expedited loss of visceral and subcutaneous fat. Furthermore, it increases the conversion of white fat into brown fat which is the “healthy” fat.
- Liver Flush. This is the most effective, yet easy liver flush protocol, as it includes a clean diet of real food (not liquids only) and a flush at the end resulting in gallstones released out of the body. It is included in the Ascent Diet Cleanse above. Cleansing the liver increases the conversion of thyroid hormones from the inactive to the active form, increasing metabolic rate and efficient fat-burning.
- Eliminate Processed Foods. Processed foods not only increase visceral fat and white fat, but they blunt the satiety signalling to the brain that tells you to stop eating. You want to focus on whole foods including organic wild animal protein, vegetables and healthy fats like olive oil and coconut oil.
- Limit Alcohol to 2-3 times per week. There is no storage mechanism in the body for alcohol; thus the way it is processed triggers heightened fat storage of all caloric intake, especially visceral fat.
- Sleep. It has been proven that fat burning occurs when you sleep, and without sleep, your leptin and ghrelin hormones for hunger and satiety are skewed, leading to increased cravings for sugar and processed foods, which in turn, increase visceral fat.
Sara Banta is a Stanford University Graduate with a Degree in Economics and Psychology, and a certified Natural Supplement Expert & Graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Sara is the Founder of Accelerated Health Products and host of the health & wellness podcast, Accelerated Health Radio.