Updated: Jan 28, 2020
We live in a society obsessed with fad diets and weight loss. You may even be trying to shed some body fat.
What Is Fat?
If we are going to speak in clinical term then fat is adipose tissue. There are two types in the human body. These types are:
White adipose tissue: This is responsible for energy storage and releasing fatty acids when your body is low on fuel (energy). This type of fat makes up the majority of our bodies. Adipose tissue is stored beneath the skin and surrounding organs. This is the fat that most of us should understand about and would want to lose .
Brown adipose tissue: This is the good fat as it helps to regulate your body temperature. It’s obtained from your muscle tissue and will burn calories to keep your body warm. SIDE NOTE: When your body fat levels reach very low percentages, you will notice your much colder more often in situations where it may not be that cold! Brown fat also contains many more capillaries than white fat and therefore will be able to transfer valuable nutrients and oxygen throughout the body.
Fat is made up of individual cells (imagine balloons) called adipocytes (cells that contain fat). Your body consists of billions of fat cells ranging in different sizes and distributed throughout your body. (genetics are instrumental in determining where you accumulate them more) These cells are filled with one large fat droplet surrounded by water, salts, and protein. The fat droplet is comprised mostly of triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides in the bloodstream are one of the contributing factors in the risk of heart disease and stroke. (the top killer of human beings worldwide). The white adipose tissue is the fat measured during a body fat assessment. If you’re healthy and not overweight, white fat makes up approximately 15-20% of total body weight in men, and 20-25% percent in women. This of course means the lifestyle is active and somewhat healthy. Lower numbers in body fat is always more healthy and safe!
On the other hand, brown fat cells contain multiple fat droplets and considerably more water, salt, and protein. These cells are also filled with mitochondria which is responsible for the chemical energy that burns calories to produce heat in your body. Make no mistake about it, brown fat cells do not show up in your appearance and are not anything to worry about.