You’re already aware that having excess fat isn’t good for you. But did you know that different types of fat come with different health implications? That’s right. Your won’t-budge belly pudge comes in two forms: visceral fat and subcutaneous fat. In this video, we’re focusing on the former. Visceral fat is the kind that snuggles up to your organs, underneath your ab muscles where you can’t see or touch it. While it may be hidden, visceral fat can do lots of damage.

Visceral fat causes the body to release cytokines, which are proteins that affect insulin production, as well as increase inflammation in the body. In case you missed it, inflammation is associated with a lot of different diseases, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The fatty acids and inflammatory factors released by visceral fat may travel directly to the liver, where they affect cholesterol production and insulin resistance.

Another annoying thing about visceral fat? As women get older, they tend to gain more fat in their bellies—instead of their hips or thighs. Ugh. 
RELATED: 10 Reasons Your Belly Fat Isn’t Going Away

The good news is that a balanced diet and regular cardio sessions can help you maintain a healthy middle. Opt for veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fats (hi, avocado!) and ditch processed carbs and added sugars when you can. Add heart-pumping sweat sessions to your fitness regimen too, like this samba dance routine that’s actually fun—and burns fat fast. 

Want to learn more about belly fat? Watch the video above to find out why it’s often called “toxic fat” and how you can measure yours.