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Body Fat – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Feb 18, 2024 | Holistic Nutrition - Food is Medicine

Being part of diet culture, I have fought to reduce my body fat since my 20s. But as I recently learned from Dr Robert Lustig, not all fats are made the same. Some fats play important roles in your body, while others are a red flag, signifying an underlining sustained inflammation and reducing your life span. How to know if your fat tissue drives inflammation?

Fat role in the body

  • Fats, AKA adipose, are the body’s energy storage tissue. If you consume more energy than you expend, the body will deposit said energy in fat cells for rainy days.
  • The body’s adipose tissue plays an important role in insulating your organs. Just imagine what it would be like to fall without your body’s fat reducing the blow.
  • Your body’s fat generates heat that keeps you warm.
  • Fat tissue secretes hormones and regulates hormones secreted in other parts of the body. 

 

The anatomy of fat tissue

Fat cells contain small “pockets” that hold the fats in them. When more fats arrive at the cell, they are stored in these pockets surrounded by a thin, skin like membrane. If the amount of fat inside the membrane exceeds its capacity, the membrane will burst. The grease will then leak into the cell, leading to cell death.

When a cell in your body dies, the immune system rushes to clean up. Macrophages are a type of immune cells that gobble up dead cells. Part of the job of macrophage cells is to inform the body that there is damage to cells so rebuilding will follow. Cytokines are immune cells that are released by macrophages to spread the news.

all fats secrete pro-inflammatory cytokines. But  the amount of fat and where these cytokines enter the bloodstream make a huge difference in your well-being and life span.

3 types of fat tissue:

Subcutaneous fat

Subcutaneous fat, the fat beneath your skin that you can pinch, is generated by the body when calorie intake exceeds expenditure. When present in appropriate amounts, subcutaneous fat serves essential functions, such as maintaining warmth and protection for vital organs, storing surplus energy for lean periods, and playing a pivotal role in hormone regulation.

It takes an increase of approximately 22 lbs before the concentration of cytokines released from subcutaneous fat tissue becomes significant enough in the bloodstream (about 6 liters) to trigger sustained systemic inflammation.

Visceral fat

Three Types Of Fat Tissue

Adopted from Harvard Health Publishing

 

Visceral fat is the fat tissue stored around the waist, situated behind the abdominal muscle cavity and encircling vital organs like the pancreas, liver, and intestines. The body produce visceral fat tissue in response to stress or high cortisol and insulin levels.

Unlike cytokines from subcutaneous fat, cytokines from visceral fat don’t enter the systemic bloodstream directly; instead, they empty into the portal vein, which leads directly to the liver. This results in a higher concentration of cytokines in the liver. Therefore, gaining only about 5 lbs can lead to a concentration of cytokines from visceral fat that is high enough to potentially contribute to inflammatory diseases.

For individuals with a waist circumference exceeding 35 inches (women) or 40 inches (men), there is an excess fat deposit in the abdominal region. This excess abdominal fat is associated with metabolic syndrome, and pre-diabetes. Monitoring waist circumference can be a valuable indicator of potential health risks related to visceral fat accumulation.

Fatty liver

We store lipid droplets in the cells of the liver. A healthy liver weighs about 3 lbs and can hold about half a pound of fats before you become metabolically ill. Fat in the liver comes from either alcohol or sugar overconsumption.

The liver plays an important role in storing glucose in cells called glycogen. Between meals, when fasting, or when you exercise, the liver releases glucose into the blood for energy production. 

But when the body stops responding to insulin, the liver releases more sugar into the blood. At the same time, it deposits more fats in the hepatocytes (liver cells ), leading to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Fatty liver disease is linked to both type 2 diabetes and heart disease, significantly impacting the quality and duration of life for millions of individuals in America..

Although your Subcutaneous fat looks bad in the mirror, the fat in your liver is most detrimental to your health. Since the liver plays such an important part in metabolism, fatty liver causes a disruption immediately.

It’s important to note that making lifestyle changes, such as reducing sugar intake (especially fructose and alcohol) and managing stress, can reverse fatty liver disease, particularly if implemented before irreversible damage occurs in the liver.

Additionally, managing stress can help reduce inflammation associated with visceral fat. When individuals reduce their sugar and alcohol consumption while effectively managing stress, it is plausible that excess subcutaneous fat may also be reduced.

It’s always advisable for individuals to consult with healthcare professionals or nutritionists for personalized advice and guidance based on their specific health conditions and needs.

To learn more about reducing inflammation join Cool The Flame. 

 

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Disclaimer: This document is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. You can view my full disclaimer here.

Body Fat – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Feb 18, 2024 | Holistic Nutrition - Food is Medicine

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Feeling inspired? Want more?

Continue your learning by joining the Bee Fields Farm newsletter and gain access to exclusive content that is sure to nourish your mind, body, and soul.

Example topics include:

  • seasonal recipes
  • how-to’s
  • tips & tricks
  • farm & community updates
  • upcoming programs
  • and so much more…

ENROLL TODAY

Together we’ll transform your health and reach new levels of vibrancy at any age.

Love, Lior

Pencil drawing of bee to separate text

Disclaimer: This document is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. You can view my full disclaimer here.

Body Fat – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Feb 18, 2024 | Holistic Nutrition - Food is Medicine

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Feeling inspired? Want more?

Continue your learning by joining the Bee Fields Farm newsletter and gain access to exclusive content that is sure to nourish your mind, body, and soul.

Example topics include:

  • seasonal recipes
  • how-to’s
  • tips & tricks
  • farm & community updates
  • upcoming programs
  • and so much more…

ENROLL TODAY

Together we’ll transform your health and reach new levels of vibrancy at any age.

Love, Lior

Pencil drawing of bee to separate text

Disclaimer: This document is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. You can view my full disclaimer here.

Body Fat – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Feb 18, 2024 | Holistic Nutrition - Food is Medicine

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Feeling inspired? Want more?

Continue your learning by joining the Bee Fields Farm newsletter and gain access to exclusive content that is sure to nourish your mind, body, and soul.

Example topics include:

  • seasonal recipes
  • how-to’s
  • tips & tricks
  • farm & community updates
  • upcoming programs
  • and so much more…

ENROLL TODAY

Together we’ll transform your health and reach new levels of vibrancy at any age.

Love, Lior

Pencil drawing of bee to separate text

Disclaimer: This document is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. You can view my full disclaimer here.

Body Fat – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Feb 18, 2024 | Holistic Nutrition - Food is Medicine

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Feeling inspired? Want more?

Continue your learning by joining the Bee Fields Farm newsletter and gain access to exclusive content that is sure to nourish your mind, body, and soul.

Example topics include:

  • seasonal recipes
  • how-to’s
  • tips & tricks
  • farm & community updates
  • upcoming programs
  • and so much more…

ENROLL TODAY

Together we’ll transform your health and reach new levels of vibrancy at any age.

Love, Lior

Pencil drawing of bee to separate text

Disclaimer: This document is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. You can view my full disclaimer here.

Body Fat – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Feb 18, 2024 | Holistic Nutrition - Food is Medicine

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Feeling inspired? Want more?

Continue your learning by joining the Bee Fields Farm newsletter and gain access to exclusive content that is sure to nourish your mind, body, and soul.

Example topics include:

  • seasonal recipes
  • how-to’s
  • tips & tricks
  • farm & community updates
  • upcoming programs
  • and so much more…

ENROLL TODAY

Together we’ll transform your health and reach new levels of vibrancy at any age.

Love, Lior

Pencil drawing of bee to separate text

Disclaimer: This document is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. You can view my full disclaimer here.

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