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What is Fat?

Updated on April 30, 2013

What is Fat?

Many of us know what fat is, right? It's that stuff on the outside of steaks we don't eat, and its very unhealthy. But what is fat? What types of fat are there? How can you rid yourslef of fat, and is there a kind of fat thats actually good?

This article is created to answer those questions for you. I wrote this as a junior in high school, but it is definitely very useful for some of us. Just because I'm not a college professer doesn't mean this isnt full of facts.

There are Two Types of Fat

Brown and White

One of America's biggest problems is the growing obesity rates across the country. Many people are ordering fast-food and eating much more than we are meant to eat. Humans, like many other organisms, have two types of fat. There is brown fat, which actually burns energy and helps to lose weight, and there is white fat, the kind the majority of people are familiar with. White fat builds up energy and makes people gain weight. Scientists are working to figure out how to turn this white fat into brown fat, and helping America, and the world, pass this obesity epidemic.

After doing a lot of research, scientists have found a method to activate brown fat cells, or "wonder cells". These cells are not only found in young children, they are also found in adults. Although there is not any evidence of brown cells helping lose weight in humans, experiments with mice have shown a very strong connection between the two. If scientists figure out a way to activate these cells in humans, obesity will no longer be a concern. This, however, does not mean that people would be allowed to eat Big Mac's for every single meal. As these cells only reduce fat, they do not help cure additional problems this food could be causing.

White fat cells are designed to keep creatures alive, they store fat absorbed from the food previously eaten, and create a supply of energy for physical labor. The only problem with this is that many modern day humans spend their days watching television or playing games. Which requires almost no energy at all, that means the white fat is being stored but never used. This is why working out or running helps people to stay a healthy weight, it burns the fat from the white blood cells and it isn't stored. White fat may have been useful when humans were less adapted to their surroundings. Indians or Neanderthals could have found this very useful, but with the amount of technology we have today, it is time we as a species adapt again and modify these white fat cells.

As scientists did more research on brown fat cells, they came to realization that the cells decreased as human beings age. It is estimated that if a mere two ounces of brown fat was activated, it could supply one-fifth of energy for the day. This is why scientists want to convert white fat to brown fat so desperately.

Some tests have been done, supporting the hypothesis that cold air helps the process. At 72 degrees, many obese men were tested, after two hours there was no activity. However, in the room on 60 degrees, the brown cells seemed to kick into high gear, which means if obese people go for a daily swim in cold water, they could potentially lose massive amounts of weight. Although, this is not supported by enough evidence, it is very likely.

Converting cells has been successful in mice, helping them lose most of their unhealthy body fat. The only problem is that it still hasn't been tested on any humans.


All Fat Is Not Created Equal | Science Illustrated. (n.d.). Science Illustrated | . Retrieved September 21, 2011, from http://www.scienceillustrated.comAll Fat Is Not Created Equal | Science Illustrated. (n.d.). Science Illustrated | . Retrieved September 21, 2011, from

Fast Food - Equals Fat

Do you know how bad it is?

How Often do You Have Fast Food?

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    • johnonsquidoo profile image


      5 years ago

      Great lens. There isn't enough nutritional info available to those who need it. I have dropped 77lbs over the last year having finally got the nutritional info I needed. Good work spreading useful info!

    • geosum profile image


      5 years ago

      I've successfully reduced my weight by over 80 lbs in 7 months. I do a minimum of 45 minutes of water aerobics 6 days a week. My method is low carb and high protein with portion control.

    • Zach Spangler profile imageAUTHOR

      Zach Spangler 

      5 years ago

      @momsANDkids: Actually I just learned recently that 40% of humans are infected with a parasite in their brains that causes them to crave sweets. I haven't researched this, but as far as I know it's true and does in fact contribute to our obesity epidemic in America. That's no excuse for eating poorly, though. There are plenty of healthy alternatives, you just have to look!

    • momsANDkids profile image


      5 years ago problem all those years after I gave birth to my kids. I love fatty meals, a chicken stew for me is not delicious without the chicken fats in it.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      A very useful information regarding how to maintain the healthy and how to reduce weight by maintaining diet.

      Fat Absorption

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      6 years ago from Ljubljana

      I found a lot of interesting info about fat when I was studying chemistry. It is still considered as bad for health but knowing our brains are mostly made of fat we should always have a second thought!

    • JoleneBelmain profile image


      6 years ago

      I've heard of many different types of fat, but never heard of them being referred to as brown and white fat... very interesting.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very interesting information. like your lens.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Congrats for starting to Squidoo. You can share more of your research.

    • RoadMonkey profile image


      6 years ago

      All fat is NOT created equal. In fact, fat is now onsidered to be a lot better for us that carbohydrates, for instance. And I don't cut off the fat from the outside of steak, except when I'm eating it. One third of your brain is made up of fat.


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