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What are the Different Types of Body Fat?

Body fat has a negative connotation, but fat plays an important role in your body. In fact, it has a number of benefits for health. The first purpose of fat is to store extra calories in a safe way so you can mobilize that energy when you’re hungry. Second, fat releases hormones that help control metabolism.

There are several types of fat each with a different function. Let’s take a look.

Brown fat

Brown fat was previously known as a fat with very little worth, but in fact, it does have one primary function: keeping people warm. Children usually have more brown fat than adults. In addition, recent studies have shown that lean individuals usually have more brown fat than overweight people, and when the brown fat is stimulated, it can burn calories quickly.

White fat

The job of white fat is to help store energy and produce hormones that are released into the bloodstream.  Small cells in this fat produce a hormone called adiponectin for the body that makes muscles and the liver sensitive to insulin, which makes people less susceptible to developing heart disease or diabetes.

Subcutaneous fat

This is the fat that is found right under the skin and is used to help estimate your total body fat. This type of fat is common around the thighs, abdomen and buttocks.

Woman standing on a scale

Visceral fat

This is the kind of dangerous fat that can wrap itself around the inside of the organs and cause significant health problems. If you have a large waist or stomach, this visceral fat can increase your chance for developing dementia, stroke, diabetes, or heart disease. It also plays a key role in insulin resistance, which could cause an increase in developing diabetes.

Belly fat

This is generally an unhealthy fat that is made up of visceral and subcutaneous fat. Woman that have a waist larger than 35 inches and men that have a waist that is more than 40 inches, have an increased risk of diabetes, stroke, or heart disease.

Fat is a normal part of the body and everyone needs it. However, fat in excess is a problem because it’s associated with heart disease and other chronic conditions. For those who are morbidly obese, weight loss surgery can help. To learn more about treatment options for obesity, reserve your spot in a free informational seminar at WeightWise.


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