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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 often hear about white fat, called “bad” for health, brown fat, with many benefits, remains, for the time being, still little known. What are their specificities?

When one wants to lose weight , one seeks at all costs to do away with fat. However, it plays an essential role in the body. These fats, also called adipose tissue, are made up of two types of cells: white adipocytes and brown adipocytes. If one is harmful to health, the other helps burn calories faster and prevent certain diseases.

Brown fat: what is it?
Brown fat, also called brown adipose tissue, is a tissue that stores nutrients in the form of lipids and then burns them to produce heat and maintain body temperature . This tissue helps the body to fight against the cold while degrading nutrients. Brown fat is found in hibernating mammals and in humans. It is present mainly in humans at the beginning of their life, that is in the newborn , to maintain their body temperature at an acceptable level because they do not yet have the shivering reflex. As for its presence in certain mammals, it allows them to hibernate while avoiding hypothermia .

If for many years, there was no evidence that brown fat was indeed present in the body of an adult, several studies and studies have shown that this brown adipose tissue is housed in very specific parts of the body. Fat is localized, in small quantities, in the interscapular region, at the level of the main blood vessels: neck , collarbones, armpits, shoulders, near the spine and heart . Brown fat cells, cells found in brown fat, are both fat burners and heat insulators.

What is the difference between brown fat and white fat?
Although they are both fats, brown and white adipose tissue do not have the same function. The more well-known white fat is the second type of fatty tissue that stores nutrients. The difference with brown fat? It stores excess calories in the form of lipids and does not eliminate them. White fat is an energy reserve that the individual can use when his carbohydrate reserves are depleted, especially during a fast , a significant physical effort or in cold weather.

White fat is mainly localized, in large quantities, in the deep regions of the body: on the neck and shoulders in men, and on the chest, buttocks , thighs and hips in women. The white adipose tissue represents 15 to 20% of the weight of the adult and is responsible for the weight gain but also for obesity .

Brown fat: how to activate and stimulate it?
You will 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 certain habits such as:

Foster a cool atmosphere (wear less clothes, sleep in a room at 19 ° C)
Take a cold shower or expose yourself to a temperature below 17 ° C
Have a good iron intake
Practice regular physical activity
Eat a balanced diet and not exceed the feeling of satiety
The beneficial effects of brown fats on the body
Brown fat accelerates the body’s metabolism and helps burn white, so-called “bad” fats, which are responsible for many diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, but also 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 highest amounts of glucose. This use naturally lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels. All of these effects reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition, burning white fat can lead to weight loss .

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