The word fat conjures up a variety of unpleasant images for many people, but what you may not know is that there are actually four types of fat.
Some are good, some bad, some are brown and some are white. It can all be very confusing, but it’s important to know that all fats aren’t created equal.
For many people, belly fat is a primary concern. Furthermore, we’re inundated every day with ads for the latest fat-busting drinks, pills and meal plans.
It’s not so much where on your body the fat has accumulated as what type it is. Body fat encompasses a variety of colors and each type has its own unique properties, structure, and associated health risks.
Knowing what color and type of fat you have provides essential insight into whether the fat is good or bad.
Adipose fat – a good fat
Adipose fat stores excess calories in the form of fat that can be used for energy. It works to cushion the body, acts as an insulator to keep your body warm, and provides a storage of energy for times of great effort.
Scientists believe this layer of fat was essential to ancient man’s survival to prevent starvation during lean times.
This type also releases a number of hormones in the body that controls your metabolism. The amount of adipose fat you have is directly related to a specific gene. The fat stored in adipose tissue is either produced within your body or comes from dietary fats.
Visceral fat – the bad fat
Located deep beneath the skin, visceral fat protects internal organs, helps protect you from extremes of heat and cold, and helps protect from excess glucose. A certain amount of visceral fat is protective and necessary. The problem with visceral fat is that it can easily accumulate in unhealthy amounts around the midsection, abdomen and internal organs.
An excess of visceral fat can result in multiple types of disease and chronic conditions from diabetes to heart disease. For men and women, middle age can be a particularly difficult time in regard to visceral fat when hormone levels significantly decline.
This typically means a build-up of fat around the middle and/or a reduction of fat in the hips, thighs and buttocks.
Brown fat – good fat
Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is an evolutionary fat. It maintains the core temperature of newborns, converts food to heat, and reacts to the body’s exertion by burning calories for fuel. It functions like a muscle when it’s stimulated by cold to burn calories to keep you warm. One of the places it’s found on the body is the back of the neck.
Youngsters have more brown fat than adults and those with lean bodies have more brown fat than those who are overweight. Its ready response in colder temperatures is one of the reasons why doctors say sleeping in a room that’s cooler will actually burn a few more calories than slumbering in a warm room. Scientists are currently working on medications that can create more brown fat as a weight loss aid.
Beige fat – also a good fat
This type of fat is typically mixed in with brown and white fat and was only identified a few years ago. Found near the collarbone and along the spine, it occurs as small, pea-sized deposits. It’s believed that beige fat is converted into brown fat by exercising. Scientists have discovered that specific foods, such as grapes, can turn beige fat into brown fat.
White subcutaneous fat – bad fat
White subcutaneous fat lies just below the surface of the skin and is what you’ll find in adipose tissue on the hips, belly and thighs. It has a very low metabolic rate and it’s the type of fat people often think of when they’re trying to lose weight, but it’s difficult to lose.
White fat can collect anywhere on the body and it’s the type that’s measured to determine your body mass index (BMI). Unfortunately, when it forms on the hip, thighs and hips it can be particularly difficult to lose.
It’s the kind of fat that interferes with the way your clothes fit and refuses to disappear no matter who much you exercise. For this type of fat, CoolSculpting® is a non-surgical procedure to remove those fatty pockets and difficult to reach areas. CoolSculpting® freezes and kills fat cells, permanently eliminates them and can be used on:
- Under the chin
- Inner and outer thighs
- Hips (love handles)
- Under the buttocks
White visceral fat – the worst kind
Visceral fat, also known as white fat, is the type that you absolutely don’t want to have, but often finds its way to your midsection, belly and abdomen. It forms deep in the body, can build-up around your internal organs, and contributes to cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and chronic inflammation.
This type of fat is the kind that creates big bellies, even in people of overall average weight, and it increases the risk of dementia. Belly fat releases a hormone called leptin that controls appetite, along with learning and memory. All the toxins from excess visceral fat go into the body where it’s directed to the liver.
If you have a build-up of visceral fat, it can be reduced through a healthy diet, responds extremely well to exercise, and is much easier to eliminate than other types. However, losing visceral fat can be a long process that can take up to a year or more, depending upon how much you’re trying to lose.
If you want a quick, effective and minimally invasive means of eliminating visceral fat, VASERlipo® is the procedure of choice. The method uses ultrasound that breaks up fatty deposits for removal. It’s a one-time procedure providing realistic contouring that’s natural looking.
VASERlipo® can be used on any part of the body and is particularly effective for:
- Bra fat
- Chin, neck and jowl
- Love handles
- Male and female breasts
When the body breaks down fat for energy, ketones are released and it’s known as a state of ketosis. Ketones that aren’t used to fuel your body are eliminated through the kidneys during urination. A similar situation occurs as fat is ejected following VASERlipo®.
Keeping bad fat at bay
You don’t have to commit to a grueling exercise program or diet to help prevent fat from forming or eliminate it if it’s already accrued. You can’t change factors such as genes, being pregnant or aging, but you can increase your metabolism and develop healthy habits that inhibit the formation of bad fat that include:
- Getting enough sleep
- Engaging in active activities that are fun
- Reducing stress
- Utilizing tea and lemon water to suppress appetite
- Eating healthy snacks
Depending on your needs, you may want to consider a ketosis fat burning plan or VASERlipo® if you’ve already developed visceral fat. Understanding the different types of fat and how they occur is the first step toward weight loss and VASERlipo® offers the technology to address excess fat quickly and efficiently for a slimmer you.