Subcutaneous fat makes up the innermost layer of skin and connective tissue. This layer that is the innermost part of the skin is often referred to as the hypodermis. It regulates the body’s temperature and also houses blood vessels as well as nerves.
Subcutaneous fat comprises one type of fat. The other is adipose (fat) tissue. The other one is visceral fat. The amount of subcutaneous fat a person has depends on their genetic makeup.
Subcutaneous fat plays a variety of important functions in your body, too much of it can cause harm in terms of health. Making sure your fat levels are within control is achievable by eating a balanced, nutrient-dense diet and regular exercising.
Subcutaneous fat within the body is situated under the skin, and above the muscles. Women and men have different distributions of subcutaneous fat and women have more fat in their thighs and hips. The majority of the body’s fat content is under cutaneous to the majority of people.
The amount of subcutaneous fat you’ve got depends on your genetics and your lifestyle. Exercise and diet play a crucial role in managing the amount of subcutaneous fat that you carry.
Subcutaneous Fat And Its Role
Subcutaneous fat is involved in a number of vital roles in our body.
- Energy Store: It stores energy by storing fats to be used later and shields your muscles from injury from potential impact. The blood vessels and nerves make use of this fat layer to move between your muscles as well as other skin layers.
- Part of the Skin Structure: Furthermore it is part of the skin’s innermost layer (hypodermis). The fat layer connects your middle layer of skin (epidermis) with your bones and muscles.
- Could Reduce Inflammation: Studies have shown that subcutaneous fat can provide a defense for the body with respect to the endocrine system as well as inflammation.
- Aids in the production of hormones: Adipose tissue produces leptin which controls feelings of fullness and hunger–as well as estrogen.
There are, however, risks of having too much subcutaneous fat and visceral fats, such as insulin resistance, liver steatosis metabolic syndrome, hypertension.
What Causes Excess Subcutaneous Fat?
Every person has subcutaneous fat. The amount of subcutaneous fat you carry is contingent on a variety of variables, including:
- Genetics: Your genes play an important part in determining where subcutaneous fat that you accumulate in certain areas of your body. The exact extent to which genetics can play a part is currently being studied.
- Activity Levels: The fact that you are extremely sedentary is linked to higher subcutaneous fat storage, specifically because of excess calories being stored rather than being used to perform physical activities.
- Health: Consuming more calories than you require to sustain your activity levels could result in an increase in subcutaneous fat. In addition, processed foods that contain a lot of salt and sugar could be a cause of abdominal fat as well as subcutaneous fat.
- Insulin resistance or diabetes: Metabolic conditions can lead to excessive fat storage, making it harder to shed weight.
- Aging: The process of aging, especially for women, may result in a reduction of subcutaneous fat, however more visceral fat.
- Hormonal State: Cortisol levels that are too high which is a stress hormone can cause the storage of fat in subcutaneous areas. The hormone leptin regulates how hungry you feel, and may also influence weight growth.
Healthy Subcutaneous Fat Levels
You can make a fair idea of whether you have a healthy amount of subcutaneous fat using various methods for measuring:
- DeXA (dual-energy absorptiometry using X-rays) is conducted by a doctor.
- The process of weighing hydrostatically takes place in the lab underwater.
- The BIA (bioelectrical Impedance Analysis) is available on a variety of scales at home that gives the body fat percentage, weight as well as other figures. It’s possible that this is not the most precise.
- Skin calipers squeeze the adipose tissues on specific areas of your body to determine the fat content of your body. It is best to have an experienced professional to get the most precise results.
It is also possible to measure your waist. If you have a diameter of greater than 35 inches for women and over 40 inches for men is considered to be excessive and is linked to various health problems, including Type 2 heart disease and diabetes.
It is important to remember that in some instances, the waist circumference recommended might need to be reduced.
A study in 2019 that involved 209 Chinese males along with 318 Chinese women revealed that an increase in insulin resistance is seen when waist circumferences exceed that 29 inches in women, and 32.5 inches for men.
The measurement of your waist in relation to hips ( waist-to-hip ratio) will also give you more information about your health as it relates to your body’s shape and fat distribution.
People who have abdominal fat, such as an apple-shape — are more at risk of developing obesity-related illnesses.
How Can You Manage Subcutaneous Fat Levels
The most effective way to manage subcutaneous fat levels in your body for good health is to follow healthy lifestyle habits, such as consuming active and eating a healthy, balanced diet.
If you or your medical professional has decided that you need to reduce the amount of fat in your body then you must review your lifestyle choices that include eating patterns as well as sleep and stress levels as well as physical exercise.
The USDA suggests at least 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity, or 75-150 minutes a week of intense-intensity aerobic exercise, or a mixture of both.
Training full-body strength two to three times per week is suggested. It is possible to add additional exercise to lose weight, however, your individual requirements will differ.
A regular exercise routine is sure to contribute to keeping the body’s fat percentage in a healthy way.
Lifestyle habits like regular physical activity and adequate sleeping are essential for maintaining the right levels of fat, maintaining a deficit in calories is a requirement for fat loss in certain individuals.
Sleeping enough and reducing stress levels are crucial for good body weight and fat levels.
Subcutaneous Vs. Visceral Fat
Visceral Adipose tissue is a different type of fat found in the organs. This kind of fat is considered to be riskier than subcutaneous fat, in terms of the increased risk of health problems resulting from being overweight.
Both kinds of body fats are related to an increased risk of developing cardiometabolic diseases. However, visceral fat has been proven by research to be more closely linked to metabolic risk factors including inflammation, insulin resistance, and mortality overall.
You can shed excess visceral fat in the same way you lose subcutaneous fat by eating a balanced diet, regular exercise, and moderate stress levels.
Subcutaneous fat is one type of fat that our body needs for various reasons, such as temperature regulation and the production of hormones. But, having too much subcutaneous fat, particularly around the abdomen could lead to risks to your health.
Maintaining your body’s fat levels at an acceptable level through diet and exercising is essential. Consult a medical doctor if you’re concerned about your body fat levels.