Burning fat is a goal that many people aspire to when they hit the gym, but not all fat is bad. There’s unsaturated fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These safeguard you from heart disease and keep your cholesterol levels under control when you eat a healthy diet. There are also omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat in walnuts, flaxseed, and fish like mackerel and salmon. These are good for you, too.

It’s dietary fat (from foods like cheese, steak, ice cream, chocolate, cookies, and cakes) and saturated fats that are troublesome.

Knowing what you now do, if you had to guess whether brown fat was good or bad for you, which would you say? You might be surprised.

What Is Brown Fat?

Brown fat is a type of fat that is found in both humans and animals. It’s only a part of human tissue in infancy, because this is when babies sleep the most. Animals that hibernate are also more likely to have more brown fat. That’s because this type of fat allows the body to stay warm thanks to the plentiful blood vessels in this adipose tissue.

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Brown fat is no secret in the human anatomy, but for many years, researchers believed it was something that humans lost as they grew older. That’s why data from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is so interesting. According to study leader Kristin Stanford, who worked with Harvard Medical School and Joslin Diabetes Center’s Laurie Goodyear, adults can have brown fat, too.

Is It Good for You?

There is both white and brown adipose tissue in the human body. White tissue is the typical saturated and dietary fats mentioned above. When you try to burn fat, this is what you’re talking about. Having brown fat is okay, though.

After all, the purpose of this fat is to provide heat. All that warmth is good at torching calories.

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Stanford and Goodyear tested brown fat levels by dividing two groups of 56 exercisers. Some of them worked out for 45 minutes, spending that time on a treadmill. The others only sweated for 40 minutes on a stationary bike. Not everyone was an avid gym fanatic, and people were of various ages, too.

Stanford found an association with 12, 13-diHOME, a type of lipokine, aka a fat molecule. Stanford noted “that burning of brown fat and this lipid in particular likely play an important role” in our metabolism.

Next time you exercise, keep all this in mind!


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