Types of body fat


Do you know that fats are not made equal? Apart from the commonly known visceral fat, there are 5 other different types of fats. Though there may be varying ways to approach the categorization of body fat, it’s easiest to consider what is predominantly good and bad for your overall health. For most, a healthy balance between most of these fats should be the target for all.


These forms of fats are namely:

1: Essential Fat

Essential fat is required for good health as it plays a role in regulating body temperature, vitamin absorption and the production of fertility hormones. Though it might not be highly visible, it is located throughout the body.

With it being a good fat, this implies that it isn’t the type which you’ll target for weight loss. For females, 10-12% of essential fat is the general range for good health, whereas for man, the range will lie between 2-4%. The loss of essential fat is due to extreme and unhealthy exercising and dieting.


2: Brown Fat

The main role of brown fat is to burn energy and maintain the body’s core temperature. As it is not a storage fat, it is easier to burin it off especially in cooler climate. There isn’t a need to manage such fat apart from maintaining essential fat level to support healthy brown fat production.


3: White Fat


The presence of white fat can be both good or bad depending on how you perceive it. With it being the body largest energy storage system and its production of the hormone adiponectin, white fat is essential for insulin management to maintain a healthy blood sugar balance. Also, being a producer of leptin, it also helps to manage hunger. White fat also plays a role in managing growth hormones and cortisol.


While the presence of white fat can be good thing, having it in high amount have its adverse effects too. Having too much of it can cause insulin resistance, increasing the risk of weight gain and its accompanying concerns.

Having stubborn fats on your thigh, hip and abdomen are key signs of high white fat level. You can try inputting target training workout which build muscle tissue that burns more calories than fats. This can help to reduce white fats in the body.


4: Beige Fat

Beige Fat forms when the body is being exposed to stress which leads to the beiging of white fat. Though high level of beige fat isn’t really a target goal, it is a step in the right direction to maintain healthy level of good brown fat. It essentially allows for the transformation and burning of bad fat as thermal energy to maintain the body’s core temperature.


5: Subcutaneous Fat

Located just underneath the skin, subcutaneous fat accounts for about 90% of the overall body fat percentage. For females, it is commonly being accumulated as stubborn thigh fat or around the abdomen in males. Subcutaneous fat is responsible for the sex hormone estrogen. As it plays a larger role in female fertility, females tend to have higher level of subcutaneous fat which act as a cushion between muscle and skin tissue for protection and comfort.

However, do not be misled that subcutaneous fat is no good. In fact, it is essential, particularly around the abdomen. Because the body stores subcutaneous fat as a form of emergency backup in case of starvation or caloric deprivation making it the hardest type of fat to target. A caloric deficit diet, an improved nutrition diet alongside with exercise, can burn off this excess subcutaneous fat.


6: Visceral Fat

Visceral fat is found in the abdominal area between organs. It accumulates and secretes retinol-binding protein 4, a known culprit in insulin resistance. Higher level of visceral fat is also linked to an increase of breast cancer, dementia, stroke. Furthermore, Visceral fat increases along with age.

One of the best ways to minimize visceral fat level to revamp your diet. Cut out processed food and increase your intake of lean protein, unsaturated fatty food. Improve sleeping cycle will also offer fat-burning benefits with 7-9 hours of sleep being the general target. Additionally, targeted abdominal strength-training exercises will increase caloric burn and help melt away visceral fat as compared to cardio.


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