Fat is a concentrated form of energy in the human body. Apart from being a source of energy, fat has several other functions like cushioning vital organs, maintaining body temperature and also helping in transport and absorption of certain vitamins.
There are two type of fat cells present in the body i.e., brown and white cells. The purpose of brown fat is to burn calories to generate heat and hence it is referred to as the good fat as it burns and does not store calories. Brown fat is mainly derived from the muscle tissue and is found mainly in hibernating animals and new-born. White fat cells serve as an energy reserve in the body and also cushions the internal organs.
Comparing the two types of fat cells it is seen that adults who have more brown fat tend to be younger and slender. An excess of white fat in the belly is associated with increased risk for heart disease, diabetes and cancer. The major goal should be to optimize brown fat function and manage white fat load for optimum health.
White fat is generated when one consumes excess calories and expends only a few, whereas exercise can convert white fat to metabolically active brown fat. A study published in the journal disease models and mechanisms found that exercising triggers release of irisin (an enzyme) that prompts conversion of white fat cells to brown. Research studies have revealed that people who overeat not only increase their white fat but over consumption results in brown fat becoming dysfunctional resulting in inability to burn calories.
Thus in conclusion, avoiding excess calorie consumption and having a daily workout schedule are the best means to increase brown fat thus improving health and overall well-being.