AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – For once, having a lot of fat isn’t a bad thing..But it has to be a certain kind of fat. 22News is working for you to explain what brown fat is and how it can help you.
It’s an odd name, but Brown fat helps us burn extra calories in the cold weather.
When we hear the word “fat” it usually relates to gaining weight. Especially in the winter, when some of us put on a few extra pounds.
Vanessa Tuttle, from Enfield, Connecticut told 22News winter is meant to keep warm inside and grab a few snacks, “Gaining, gaining, it’s so cold out nobody wants to go outside and do anything so why not stay inside and snack?”
What if, for once, fat weren’t a bad thing? Recent research suggests that cold temperatures may help you burn more calories when you’re at rest due to what is called “brown fat.”
An exercise Physiologist, Ashley Brodeur from Active Lifestyle in Agawam, told 22News how brown fat actually works, “They did some research where they took people and put them in the cold right before they started shivering and found that they burned more calories in the cold weather at rest than they did in a normal temperature, so their thinking that brown fat might actually be helping in terms of burning calories.”
In other words, brown fat helps your body maintain its core temperature.
When you’re sitting and shivering, waiting for your car to warm up, your brown fat is kicking in to warm your body up.
It doesn’t work the same way for babies.
Babies actually don’t shiver so they tend to have a lot more brown fat than adults do.
Next time you’re shivering, think how you may be burning just a few extra calories.
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