Most people simply hear the word fat and they immediately drum up a negative image. There are two types of fat which are classified as white fat and brown fat. It turns out that brown fat is a lot better than white and, until recently, was considered to disappear by adulthood. This, fortunately, is not the case and it has even been discovered that white fat can be recruited by the brain to transform into brown fat. You may soon look at fat in a completely different light.
White fat is one of the body’s energy storage systems as well as its thermal insulator. In non-overweight people, white fat makes up about 20% of body weight in males and 25% in women. The droplets of each white fat cell are, however, very large and through excessive, improper diet can result in mostly unwanted belly fat. Even though this fat is essential to optimal health, it seems that a majority of people have exceeded its benefits. Over accumulation of white fat contributes to the usual obesity related conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and other challenges associated with metabolism.
Brown fat could be considered the good fat due to its mitochondria packed makeup. It is located in the upper neck and back and is loaded with iron, giving brown fat its color. Mitochondria is responsible for cellular respiration a result of energy conversion from glucose which assists in optimal body functioning. Without cellular respiration all body processes would eventually fail. Mitochondria also assists in cell growth, reproduction, division, differentiation and cell death. Brown fat is developed as tiny droplets enabling them to burn faster and with more efficiency.
When brown fat is stimulated it burns white fat. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study which found an exact protein that is capable of transforming specific precursor cells into brown fat. This is one of many current studies that are trying to find a way to replace white fat with brown fat (a 150 pound person has about 20 to 30 pounds of fat with only 2 to 3 ounces being brown). Because brown fat keeps the body warm it is suggested that sleeping in a slightly cold room will cause it to burn thus burning white fat at the same time.
Overall, there is no escaping the fact that the difference between brown fat and white fat and how to burn them both comes down to exercise and diet. If you eat processed, packaged foods; high amounts of sugar; and consume more carbohydrates than protein chances are you will have a challenge when it comes to burning either fat even if you have a regimented exercise program. Eat low on the food chain choosing live (that means raw or lightly steamed) vegetables as well as fresh fruit, grains and legumes; add in cardio and weightlifting and watch the fat melt and turn healthy.
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