A Quick Guide to the Different Types of Body Fat

February 8, 2022

Dietary recommendations suggest that 25-35% of our calories come from fats. This can confuse many people, especially when they spend so much effort trying to lose it!

Fat plays an important role in the body and we store it as adipose tissue. But, not all adipose tissue is created equal.

Keep reading to learn about the different types of body fat.

Brown Adipose Tissue

We need brown fat in our bodies to live. This type of adipose tissue serves many purposes.

Brown fat creates a cushion to protect organs, bones, and other tissues from getting damaged. This essential fat also insulates the body by holding in heat and helping to maintain its normal temperature when exposed to the cold.

Cold temperatures also activate another function of brown adipose tissue, which is to turn the food you eat into energy. Excess blood glucose gets broken down by brown fat. This last function actually aids in weight loss.

A baby’s chub contains mostly brown fat, which helps them receive the energy needed to grow so rapidly. As they grow, they lose their baby fat, so adults only get left with small amounts of brown adipose tissue. They mostly store it in their shoulders and at the nape of the neck.

Beige Adipose Tissue

While you cannot exactly make new brown adipose tissue as an adult, you can help your body produce beige fat. Beige fat comes from white adipose tissue that undergoes browning, and then it functions more like brown fat.

Exposing yourself to cold temperatures can help activate brown fat or create beige fat. The phenol, Resveratrol, found in green tea and cabbage, and Capsaicin, the compound that gives hot peppers their heat, may both help activate brown fat and create beige as well. Exercise may also brown white fat.

White Adipose Tissue

White adipose tissue plays a functional role in the body as well, serving as energy storage. But, this type of fat will keep packing on when your caloric intake exceeds energy expenditure.

Small amounts of white fat protect you from starvation. Too much increases your risk for things like heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. Eating balanced meals and exercising daily to offset the calories you take in will help you keep a healthy amount of white adipose tissue on your body.

Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue

Adipose tissue that grows beneath the skin is called subcutaneous fat. In small amounts, this fat cushions and insulates you and leaves you looking healthy. When too much of this fat interacts with other connective tissues beneath the skin, it bunches up and you get the appearance of cellulite.

Visceral Adipose Tissue

Visceral fat refers to adipose stores that build up in the abdominal region, lining the vital organs. This is the most dangerous type of fat when it grows in excess because of its location. Eat healthily and exercise to lose belly fat.

Keep All Types of Body Fat in Balance

All types of body fat serve a purpose. However, living with too much fat will lead to bigger health problems. Bring your body back to balance and transform your wellness and try fat burners.

Looking for other ways to live well? Find more health tips on our website!

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