Keeping herself trim, Angela was shocked to discover that she wasn’t in tip-toe shape like she thought. Starring in a BBC documentary, the Plymouth-born presenter found out her belly was full of fat.
The 75-year-old underwent an MRI scan back in 2016, while being filmed for the two-part BBC documentary How to Stay Young.
It was then the discovery was made that Angela had high levels of visceral fat.
Visceral fat is recognised as a health risk by WebMD, connected to heart disease, Alzheimer’s and type 2 diabetes.
Other noteworthy conditions linked to high visceral fat levels include stroke and high cholesterol.
This type of body fat, that differs from the bits of jiggly skin you can pinch, is known to be inflammatory.
Acting as a hormone, visceral fat can narrow blood vessels and trigger high blood pressure.
Pointing towards the mysterious mass surrounding Angela’s abdominal organs, Professor Jimmy Bell stated: “This is visceral fat.”
The Professor of Medicine, at Imperial College London, added: “You have between six and seven litres. The average is two.”
Horrified, Angela is living proof that you may appear slim on the outside but your insides could reveal a different story.
What causes visceral fat?
Medical News Today cited a “poor diet” as a contributing factor to visceral fat.
This includes eating sugary foods, such as cakes and candy, as well as drinking soda and fruit juice.
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Such a high-sugar diet can “reduce a person’s ability to burn fat” – are you guilty of this?
Another culprit could be consuming excess alcohol, which can further inflammation in the body.
The NHS guidelines suggest drinking no more than 14 units in one week – and consistently having alcohol-free days.
Stress and poor sleep are also said to be factors that influence a person’s belly fat.
Most people won’t have the privilege of undergoing an MRI scan to measure their visceral fat levels.
However, there is an accurate way to do so without forking out a fortune.
Grab a clothing tape measure (the flexible kind), and wrap it around your waist in line with your navel.
Make sure you’re breathing normally, and the tape isn’t pressing too tightly against your skin.
The ideal measurement goes as follows: for women, it’s 31.5 inches or less; for men, it’s 37 inches or less.
If you exceed either of these measurements, there are things you can do to burn off the excess belly fat.
For example, you can improve your diet by avoiding sugar and fatty foods, and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Moreover, you can increase how much you exercise, by intensity and duration.
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