Brown fat and white fat: what's the difference?
You probably didn't know it, but there are two types of body fat: white and brown. If we hear a lot about white fat, which is called "bad" for health, brown fat, with its many benefits, remains, for the time being, unknown. What are their peculiarities?
When you want to lose weight, you try at all costs to get rid of fat. However, it plays an essential role in the body. This fat, also called adipose tissue, is made up of two types of cells: white adipocytes and brown adipocytes. If one of them is harmful to health, then the other helps to burn calories faster and prevents certain diseases.
Brown fat: what is it?
Brown fat, also called brown adipose tissue, is tissue that stores nutrients as fat and then burns them to produce heat and maintain body temperature. This tissue helps the body fight the cold while breaking down nutrients. Brown fat is found in hibernating mammals and humans. It is present mainly in humans at the beginning of their life, ie in newborn babies, to maintain their body temperature at an acceptable level because they do not yet suffer from the shivering reaction. As for its presence in some mammals, it allows them to hibernate while avoiding hypothermia.
If nothing has proven for many years that brown fat was actually present in the body of an adult, then numerous studies and research have shown that this brown fat tissue is present in very specific parts of the body. Fat is found in small quantities in the bipolar region, at the level of the major blood vessels: the neck, collarbones, armpits, shoulders, near the spine and the heart. Brown adipocytes, the cells in brown fat, are fat burners and heat insulators.
What is the difference between brown fat and white fat?
Although both are fats, brown and white adipose tissue do not perform the same function. White fat, more commonly known, is the second type of adipose tissue that stores nutrients. The difference with brown fat? It stores excess calories as fat and does not eliminate them. White fat is an energy reserve that an individual can use when their carbohydrate reserves are exhausted, especially during fasting, heavy physical exertion, or in cold weather.
White fat is found mainly in large quantities in deep areas of the body: on the neck and shoulders in men, and on the chest, buttocks, thighs and hips in women. White adipose tissue accounts for 15-20% of an adult's weight and is responsible for overweight and obesity.
Brown fat: how to revitalize and revitalize?
As you understand, the goal is to reduce white fat and stimulate brown adipose tissue. It is possible to increase your share of brown fat thanks to some habits such as:
- Promote a cold climate (wear less clothes, sleep in a room at 19°C)
- Take a cold shower or expose yourself to temperatures below 17°C
- Eat a good amount of iron
- Do regular physical activity
- Eat a balanced diet and not go beyond feeling full
Beneficial effects of brown fat on the body
Brown fat speeds up the body's metabolism and burns white fat, the so-called "bad" fat, which is responsible for many diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as other problems such as obesity. Another advantage of brown fat: It stabilizes blood sugar and regulates insulin in the body. Brown adipose tissue uses the largest amounts of glucose. This use naturally reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels. All of these effects reduce the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Burning white fat can also lead to weight loss.