Saturday, November 29, 2014

Bring on the Brown Fat!

Hello Everyone,

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  And, how was your Black Friday?  Did you partake?  I went to Toys R Us, and survived quite well, thank you very much.  That was enough.

So, my title.............................Bring on the Brown Fat!  I suppose it's not very nice of me to discuss a topic regarding fat during the holidays, but I what I've learned about brown fat is so interesting that, well, I must share.  The result might just be that you will start turning your thermostat way down at night, and for good reason.

Fat is a very interesting organ.  It safely stores the excess calories we take in, and those fat stores are mobilized when we are hungry.  Fat is also needed to release hormones that control our metabolism. 

Brown fat, (my new best friend), is something that children have more of than adults.  It keeps them warm. Here's an interesting fact:  People in Boston have more active brown fat in their colder months, which lends itself to the idea that if we sleep in a colder room, it will help increase our metabolism. The faster your metabolism, the more efficiently it will burn fat. I'm for that!  For the most part, leaner adults have more brown fat than overweight or obese adults.  Because of that, there is research being done to try to create a drug that increases brown fat.  This drug could potentially help people achieve greater weight loss while working on improving their eating and exercising habits.  That's pretty cool, don't you think?

You probably already know that the type of fat that we have the most of in our bodies is white fat.  There is a lot of information out there about how the location of larger stores of white fat can affect our health, especially if we store excess fat in our mid-sections. Specifically, this visceral fat can increase our risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke and even dementia. Thank goodness that, although we tend to lose fat evenly all over, when we exercise regularly while eating a healthier diet, we tend to lose slightly more fat from our bellies.  Women need to be aware that after menopause they tend to deposit more fat in the abdomen, so there's another reason for women to be proactive about eating right and participating in 3-5 cardiovascular activities a week.  By that I mean those activities that use total body movement, especially utilizing the large muscles of the legs, non-stop, for 30-60 minutes at a time.

Click here if you wish to read more about brown and white fat.

Have a healthy and happy holiday season, and please consider turning down your thermostat at night, unless it's already one of your healthy habits!


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