Having a certain amount of body fat is not only normal but totally healthy. But did you know that there are two types of fat, and they can impact your health in different ways? It’s true: not all fat is created equal. Subcutaneous fat, which is stored right underneath the skin (think: the stuff you can pinch with your fingers), typically makes up about 90% of your total body fat. The other 10% is visceral fat, which is stored much deeper—under the abdominal wall and in the spaces between and surrounding your organs.
Even in small amounts, this type of fat can do some serious damage. According to Harvard Health, visceral fat produces more cytokines, a particular type of proteins that can trigger inflammation—which increases your risk of certain chronic conditions, like heart disease.
“Visceral fat is carried at the front of the body where it creates a significant stress on the heart and other vital organs,” says Trista Best, RD at Balance One Supplements. “If allowed to persist it will form around organs and tissues which makes it difficult to lose, also increasing the risk of chronic disease.”
And don’t think just because you’re at a healthy weight you’re off the hook: Visceral belly fat can be a hidden danger even for those who are otherwise slender, according to Best. Harvard Medical School reports that if you’re a man with a waist circumference over 40 inches or a woman with a waist circumference over 35 inches, you’re at high risk of excess visceral fat.
Fortunately, experts agree that adjusting your breakfast habits can help you shed visceral fat so you can look and feel your best. For example, it’s a good idea to avoid trans fats, which are in many processed foods, as research has shown that it can increase visceral fat.
Below, registered dietitians share more breakfast habits to break if you want to lose visceral fat. Then, don’t forget to check out more expert-approved tips on How To Reverse Visceral Fat!
Before you grab one of those donuts from the conference room or grab a muffin on the way to work, consider this: starting your day with something sweet is one of the worst breakfast habits you can have, because simple sugars like fructose-sweetened foods and beverages can promote belly fat.
“Unfortunately, many of our staple breakfast foods are highly processed convenience options—add to this a coffee loaded with added sugars, and your blood sugars will be off the charts in no time,” says Kayla Girgen, RD, founder of Nutrition Untapped. “Following this is the ever-dreaded sugar crash and second round of mid-morning munchies. Limit processed foods and added sugars early on to help with appetite control later in the day.”
Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN—author …….