When you hear the word ‘fat’ most of think of the cellulite on our legs, the belly hanging over our belts, or the muffin stop we wish would go away. It may surprise you to learn there’s more than one type of fat and some of them actually helps us look lean! Fat has been one of those features of the human body we have only begun to understand. To learn more about fat and what it can do read on.



This fat should be familiar. It’s literally the white parts you see on meats at the supermarket. It’s also the fat that most of wish didn’t exist on our bodies. Another not-so-loveable feature of white fat is that it’s the most abundant type of fat. Despite our disdain for white fat it’s necessary to survive because it acts as a “storage unit” for the calories we consume and may need later to function.


When our white fat cells are small they can help produce a hormone called adiponectin. This hormone makes our bodies sensitive to insulin. This is very important because when this hormone’s production slows down (i.e. when we get fatter) it makes our bodies insulin resistant and that keeps us from burning the calories we’ve consumed.



For a long time this was viewed as the most worthless type of fat. However, recent studies have shown that leaner individuals carry more brown fat than overweight individuals. When brown fat is stimulated, most notably when we’re cold, it helps burn white fat! In essence, brown fat acts more like muscle than white fat by utilizing it as an energy source.


However, the amount of brown fat we have is miniscule compared to white fat. Let’s say you have 30lbs of fat on your body, maybe only a few ounces are brown fat. But don’t be discouraged. Those few ounces can burn anywhere from 300-500 calories per day! Very beneficial is you’re trying to lose weight.



This is the fat located just underneath our skin. It’s the “pinchable” fat. Subcutaneous fat can be good or bad depending on where it’s located. Fat located around your hips and thighs has been shown to release protective hormones such as leptin and adiponectin. Fat a round the belly is another matter. This fat releases a chemical called cytokine. Cytokine triggers inflammation in the gut. Many scientists and researchers agree that gut inflammation is the starting point for nearly every health issue people face today.





Also known as “deep” fat protects our organs. Too much and you’ll be in a world of trouble. Want to know if you have too much visceral fat? Look down. Do you have a big belly? Then, yes, you have too much visceral fat. What does this mean? It means you are at a much higher risk for diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Even if you’re in a healthy weight range but still have a bigger belly then you’re still in trouble.


The good news is that reducing this fat even a little bit can increase your overall health dramatically. Eat a diet in lean protein, fibrous vegetables, and healthy fats and watch the waistline shrink and your health improve.