Have you ever heard of brown fat? I’m not talking about browning some fat that’s on a piece of meat in a skillet, no, I’m talking about brown fat inside our human bodies. Well, I’ll plead ignorance. I had never heard of it until now.
I picked up a copy of Women’s World magazine (7/23/2018 edition) and there it was. The article is titled “The fat that slims!” by Brenda Kerns. Apparently, we have two types of fat in our bodies; white fat that our bodies create to store unused energy that’s been turned into fat and brown fat that works non-stop in converting calories into heat. The big news is that if you energize the brown fat, you can melt pounds 35% faster.
Brown fat, also called brown adipose tissue, is a special type of body fat that is turned on, or activated, when you get cold. Brown fat produces heat to help maintain your body temperature in cold conditions. Brown fat contains many more mitochondria than white fat.
Dr. Axe says on his website, “One of the things that affects how many calories we burn every day and our risk for obesity, regardless of how we exercise and what we eat, is how activated our brown fat cells are.” (https://draxe.com/brown-fat/)
Dr. Axe goes on to say:
4+ Benefits of Brown Fat Cells
Before we dive into how you can increase brown fat, let’s look at how brown fat can actually benefit your metabolism, body weight, cardiovascular and immune system:
1. Burns Calories
Brown fat cells use more calories than other types of fat cells do, helping you to potentially shed stored body fat and maintain a healthy weight more easily.
As you probably know, energy intake comes from food consumption, whereas the major contributors to energy expenditure are exercise and simply the energy it takes to keep you alive (basic metabolic processes). According to the American Diabetes Association, brown fat activity can also impact daily energy expenditure and prove to be an effective therapy for obesity.
2. Decreases Dangerous Fat
Brown fat can decrease white fat stores, which might lower your risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, stroke and other concerns related to aging and obesity.
3. Improves Heart Health
Studies show brown fat has benefits for your heart too, including naturally lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It’s believed that brown fat can fuel itself with circulating triglycerides taken up from the bloodstream (a good thing, since in excess these contribute to numerous diseases).
4. Stabilizes Blood Sugar
A new discovery has been made recently by researchers at Stockholm University showing that brown fat cells are capable of altering glucose uptake, drawing sugar out of the blood to fuel muscle cells. This helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and might prevent things like fatigue, cravings, headaches and overeating.
Dr. Axe goes on to recommend:
5 Ways to Increase Brown Fat
Thanks to new discoveries about how we can better locate and study brown fat below the skin’s surface, experts have been able to hone in on certain ways to boost brown fat stores in adults and its positive effects.
1. Turn Down the Temperature
Nobody likes to be very cold, and you might assume that cold temps even increase your risk for becoming sicker, but studies are now telling us otherwise. Research is now suggesting that due to the near-constant use of air conditioners and heating systems indoors, plus less time spent outside in nature, a general “lack of exposure to temperature variation” could be a contributor to low brown fat concentration.
By keeping your home at a lower temperature (around 63–65 degrees, for example), going outside in the cold, and even taking cold showers might help activate more brown fat and burn hundreds of extra calories per day!
Exercise has now been shown to increase activity of brown fat — not to mention that regular exercise has numerous other benefits for your metabolism and body composition.
3. Follow Your Body’s Hunger & Fullness Signals
To help brown fat do its best job possible, work on getting to know your internal hunger signals and figuring out ways to avoid emotional eating. Over-consumption of calories confuses neurons that control hunger hormones, leads to extra white fat storage and can raise the risk for many other health problems.
4. Get Good Sleep
Maybe you’ve heard that a lack of sleep can mean trouble losing weight? We’ve known for quite some time that sleep is highly influenced by the hormone melatonin, but new research is showing that melatonin also effects the use of brown fat.
5. Learn to Manage Stress
Learning to manage stress can help you sleep better, commit to regular exercise, make it priority to eat a healing diet, and make you more in tune with your emotions so you can get a hold on overeating. These are all factors that have the biggest impact on your ability to activate brown fat!
Of course there is much more information on the Dr. Axe site (https://draxe.com/brown-fat/) that what I have included here. Go check him out. I find he is an excellent source for figuring out what is clean and healthy. Also, you know that I don’t give you all of the information that you need. I just whet your appetite so you’ll do the research on your own. 🙂
Well, today we discussed brown fat. It is a good thing, as Martha Stewart would say. We just need to use it to our advantage and work on increasing the brown while decreasing the white.
Bye for now.