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Is Body Fat Good or Bad?

By Tom Herrin

A lot of us are concerned about fat.  For some, it may be the fat in our diets that are known to lead to some pretty serious health problems.  While at one time many of us consumed high amounts of fats, more recent studies have led to discouragement of doing so.  We may have begun to investigate some of the ways to decrease the amounts of fats in our diets.  As a result, low-fat diets have become much more popular.  There are other fats, however, such as the fats stored by our bodies.  These are usually referred to as body fats.  This is the kind that we may see affecting our appearance.  

Some Fat Is Good

When we look in the mirror, we are often reminded that we have body fat that we don't want.  It may be true, or it may be that we are just not satisfied with our overall appearance.  Body fat actually serves some purposes that we may not be aware of.  The right amount of body fat may help our bodies to function properly.  It is known to help balance hormones, regulate body temperature, help store vitamins, and a few other things.

Body Fat Percentage May Be Important

We all need some body fat, but we also know that too much can be a problem.  Measuring body fat percentage is usually done using BMI which is an index that compares frame size, age, height, and weight.  There are some other ways to measure it by being more specific, but a BMI scale can serve as a guide.  Using it may help to keep us generally on track.  It is not perfect, but we may have an idea if we are in the right ballpark.  Many times, this is estimated based on the appearance of subcutaneous fat, or fat under the skin.  For those interested, there are some more sophisticated methods available.

Some Fat Can Contribute to Serious Health Issues

We are all familiar with some of the bad things associated with bad fats.  Belly fat probably has the worst reputation.  It seems to contribute to problems with diabetes as well as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and similar issues.  It is even believed to increase the likelihood of some cancers.  If we are able to manage to keep this fat in check, we will likely experience better overall health.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Redmond, Wash.

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