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Functions of Body Fat

When it comes to body fat we usually hear about the risks associated with high body fat, but what about when body fat gets too low?

High body fat can increase the risk of problematic health conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. But low body fat can be just as troublesome for our health.

Spanning far beyond just contributing to our body shapes, body fat plays a number of vital roles when it comes to our health.

But first, what actually is body fat? Also known as adipose tissue, it is stored all over our body and it can be found just underneath the skin or surrounding our internal organs.

The fat underneath the skin that you can visibly see or physically pinch is called subcutaneous fat, whereas the fat packed around our organs is termed visceral fat

Men and women require different amounts of body fat, with women normally needing higher levels than men.

This is related to differences in body composition and the demands of pregnancy, breast tissue and other hormonal requirements such as menstruation.

The minimum body fat percentage for men is said to be around 4-6%, whereas for women it’s between 9-15%.

However, a healthy range for men is estimated as being between 12-20% and between 20-30% for women; although this can vary based on age and between different individuals.

Concerned your body fat may be too high or low? Let’s chat and see how we can help you adjust your dietary and lifestyle habits towards a healthier level of body fat - whether that’s a little more, or a little less.


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