Can “GOOD FAT” help you lose bad fat?

Can “GOOD FAT” help you lose bad fat?

By Jacqueline Brandwynne


A recent article in the Journal of Medicine states that researchers in Europe and the US have identified a good “fat” that actually helps burn calories and may lead to a breakthrough in treatments for obesity. Good “fat” is known as brown adipose tissue in adults which apparently plays a role in the body’s expending of energy. It was known for quite some time that good fat, or brown fat as it is called exists in children, but it was assumed that it disappeared with aging.


However, three different groups of scientists now report that brown fat is present in some adults. More exciting, teams of Boston researchers reported finding cellular switches that can be turned on to make brown fat cells out of ordinary skin and other type cells. This discovery raises the possibility that in the future obesity could be treated by spurring the growth of brown fat cells in patients.


White fat, which is generally better known, leads to obesity when the balance between the intakes of food each day is greater than the calories we burn.  In other words, when an imbalance between calorie consumption and calorie output in the form of energy exists over time, the risk of obesity and the damaging health problem connected with it can become a serious health hazard.


“The discovery caused a very big change in our thinking”, said Dr. Ronald Kahn, head of obesity and hormone action research at the Joslin Diabetes Center. Dr. Francesco Celli, an endocrinologist at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, believes the findings may lead to the development of drugs that either help the body produce more of the brown fat or activate existing brown tissue. Unfortunately the development of these treatments are years away.


If your New Year’s resolutions include shedding some pounds, resort to some tried and true solutions that work, guaranteed, if you stick to the program. Most importantly, don’t set unrealistic goals which set you up for failure rather than success.


Here is our four-step plan, just add your own positive willpower:


1. Form your own support group. Several of your friends would love to shed a few unwanted pounds. Achieving together is easier and more fun. Have weekly weigh-ins to spur each other on.


2. Exercise is the great calorie burner, a half an hour brisk walk daily can make a huge difference in burning calories. Join that local gym. It doesn’t take long till you get hooked on the “serotonin high” you will experience after working out. It’s the best way to make you feel up while your pounds go down.


3. Revamp your daily food program. Emphasize a healthy diet. If necessary get advice from a nutritionist for starters. Surely you’re already aware of the basics: one, more fruits and lots of veggies for your main meals, and two, replace butter and regular oils with olive oil. Multiple studies prove that people who enjoy the longest, healthiest lives eat little meat, fats and no sugar at all. And they engage in lots of physical activity. When playing bridge or watching TV avoid the sugar and junk food trap that turns your eating into ugly white fat.


4. Celebrate little changes! Little steady improvements end up paying big dividends.


Happy New Year!




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