There are many types of fat and different reasons why fat is accumulated (or not) in your body. We will dive deeper into the types of fat, fat loss, and how they are influenced by different foods and DNA genetics. We will also discuss one of the secrets that Japanese people have been using for centuries to burn fat, along with the benefits of weight loss/prevention, stress, heart health, cancer prevention, blood sugar balancing, and cellular rejuvenation -- green tea. A basic understanding of fat is crucial to know because it can help you reach your ideal weight.
Types of fats, and what you need to know.Fat studies typically refer to fat by its color. Human body fat types are distinguished as white, yellow, brown, and beige. Who knew? Sources from the Cleveland Clinic’s Health Essentials blog published February 2021 “Do You Know the Color of Body Fat” explain that “fat is functional. But too much of it can also be fatal.” Yikes! The source also reports a statistic that a whopping 43.4% of U.S. citizens are overweight. So let’s dive into the fat color spectrum.
- WHITE AND YELLOW FATS: White fat cells, which are most abundant, are the ones in your body that are responsible for storing dietary fat. These cells can also keep growing and getting bigger based on dietary choices. As you may suspect, white fat can lead to obesity and be dangerous to human health if not mindfully managed. Yellow fat is the same as white fat with the exception that the yellow carotene found in vegetables and grains may not metabolize resulting in the yellow color. Overabundance and excessive white and yellow fats contribute to subcutaneous and visceral fats, which may even pack around internal organs.
- BROWN FAT: Brown fat cells, typically least abundant, are part of the body's energy system. They interact with white fat cells to produce heat, a process known as thermogenesis that can be experienced when the human body shivers due to extreme cold. People who are considered leaner typically have more brown fat than non-lean people. Some studies suggest that stimulation of brown fat contributes to weight loss.
- BEIGE (OR BRITE) FAT: Beige fat is typically more abundant than Brown fat, and potentially converted from White fat through exercise. Like Brown fat, Beige fat is inactive until it is triggered by a thermogenic cold reaction. However, Beige fat is not burned as efficiently as Brown fat. Studies are considering its role in insulin regulation and organ protection.
How does fat impact our overall health?
You may have noted in the above section that we referenced subcutaneous and visceral fats. In this section, we will also discuss essential fat. Subcutaneous fat is just underneath the skin throughout the body and sometimes a combination of brown, beige, and white fat cells. This type of fat when excessive typically leads to hormonal imbalance which may trigger diseases such as type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, stroke, kidney disease, liver disease, and even cancer. Visceral fat is white fat typically stored around your major organs and your abdomen, which can create an abundance of belly fat impacting the waistline. Too much visceral fat has also been known to share the potential for hormone imbalance and the plethora of diseases mentioned above. Essential fat is what makes up your brain, bone marrow, nerves, as well as membranes that protect your organs. Unlike the subcutaneous and visceral fats, essential fat regulates hormones to the benefit of temperature regulation, vitamin absorption, and even fertility. As stated by Healthline.com’s “Types of Body Fat: Benefits, Dangers and More” the American Council on Exercise suggests that to be in good health, women should have 10 to 13 percent essential fat compared to just 2 to 5 percent for men.
Are there genetic implications to fat retention, why; and what can you do about it?
In 2019, according to the Healthline.com article, genome-wide genotype data showed that thinness and obesity were both heritable traits but that exercise is still a major factor in prohibiting fat accumulation. Despite what your genetics may suggest, you should aim to move your body for 30 minutes at least five days a week to improve your genetic quality according to genetic experts. One of the common genes that predispose people to have obesity is the FTO gene. According to ObesityMedicine.org’s “Obesity and Genetics: Nature and Nurture” 43% of the population has such gene. The article goes on to explain that individuals with this gene may have the increased hunger levels, and reduced control of overeating while also having an increased tendency to store body fat. DNA genetic testing like 23andMe can show whether or not you carry specific genes that predict if you should carry more or less fat, but it’s not always consistent with reality. How you live your life has a lot to do with whether these genes are expressive. In short, if you are known to have FTO or other genetic factors that could make you carry more weight, a consistent and manageable diet, and exercise regimen is likely your best approach for obesity prevention. Remember, not all fat is bad fat. Your body's size and shape may carry more fat naturally, and it's part of your unqiue and wonderful design. America's standards of beauty, including size and shape, are oftentimes not realistic. They may be medically enhanced and are almost always modified by digital editing. What's most important is that you appreciate your body first and foremost, and focus on maintaing a healthy weight and fitness level for your body.
Foods for Fat Loss - Do’s and Don’t.Healthy food selection: food sources of omega 3 and unsaturated fats, fruits, vegetables, seeds, superfoods with high vitamin e and dietary fiber, cereals on gray background[/caption] If you were to google “fat-burning foods” or “foods for fat loss” 10 out of 10 times you will come upon resources that have one thing in common. Do you know what it is? If you guessed green tea, then you are correct! That’s why we stand by our instant, functional green tea beverage, greenteaHAWAII so strongly. After eleven years in business, we still have auto-ship customers who have been with us for more than a decade. That’s because it’s part of their everyday lifestyle -- as it should be! But before we go on and on about how amazing green tea is, let’s look at 11 foods that manage fat for greenteaHAWAII’s 11th Anniversary. DO all things in moderation:
- Salmon - It’s the oily fat-containing omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s may contribute to fat loss and lower cortisol levels, which are sometimes associated with fat storage. If seafood is your fave, feel free to also consume herring, tuna, sardines or anchovies, and even oysters, all of which are great for fighting fat.
- Berries - like green tea, berries are rich in antioxidants and polyphenols to help prevent and burn fat. Plus, berries contain resveratrol proven capable of converting white fat to beige fat.
- Full-Fat Greek yogurt - The conjugated linoleic acid in Greek yogurt can help fat loss and overall weight loss according to more than 18 studies. Probiotics in greek yogurt may also promote gut health and reduce the symptoms of constipation.
- Avocado - Another cortisol squashing food, which helps prevent and reduce belly fat. As a healthy fat, avocados and minimally processed guacamole may down-regulate fat genes as stated by EatThis.com “40 Best-Ever Fat-Burning Foods” and according to Diabetes Care research. Avocados may also prolong the feeling of fullness between meals, satiety.
- Grapefruit - Rich in phytochemicals, grapefruit can stimulate the breakdown of body fat by producing a hormone called adiponectin. One study showed that individuals who ate grapefruit for six weeks lost an inch in their waistlines, and another study showed that the scent of grapefruit oil may trigger brown fat burn in rats.
- Water - Prevent your metabolism from slowing down by staying properly hydrated. Add lemon for a slight antioxidant boost.
- Chia seeds - Rich in fiber, chia seeds help reduce abdominal fat and keep bowel movements regular. What’s more, when you pair with green tea the omega-3 properties help increase the absorption of green tea’s superpower catechin, Epigallocatchin Gallate, aka EGCG. You can get these results with almost any nut and hemp seeds.
- Hot peppers - A chemical known as capsaicin promotes a healthy metabolism and can turn on the body’s fat-burning properties. The hotter the pepper the greater the capsaicin.
- Broccoli - It’s another winner for adding fiber to your diet. Indole-3-carbinol in broccoli can convert estrogen to a metabolite. Many processed foods today cause overexposure to estrogen-producing chemicals which can lead to disease. Regular consumption of broccoli is a great way to reduce harmful estrogen.
- Dark leafy greens - You need iron to assist in the transportation of oxygen through the blood, and kale and others provide iron and can help lower blood sugar levels as well.
- Green tea - We provide a whole section on this amazing fat-burning beverage below.
DON’T overdo it on these fat-feeding foods: High-sugar soda and artificially sweetened diet soda, sweetened or flavored coffee, ice cream, smoothies, most dairy and cheese, fried potatoes, processed meats, alcohol, and white or highly-refined bread.