Fat may seem like a nuisance to many of us, but a small amount of it is actually an essential part of a healthy diet. If you’ve ever wondered “how is fat stored in the body?”, allow us to explain in a way that also provides vital insight into how you can most effectively lose weight.
Fat has played a vital role in human survival
Fats are one of the three essential nutrients – along with protein and carbohydrates – that provide the body with calorific energy. A gram of fat contains about nine calories (kcal), which is roughly twice as much energy and calories as proteins and carbohydrates provide, at approximately four kcal per gram.
Energy is crucial for the various biological processes – referred to as the basal metabolic rate – the body performs while at rest, such as the regulation of hormones, blood circulation, digestion and cell growth. If calories are not immediately metabolised for energy, the body stores them as fat for future use.
This ability to store fat was essential as the human species evolved, playing a crucial role in human survival during food storages by serving as an emergency supply of energy. These days, of course, many of us don’t go hungry for long periods of time, but our body continues to process food like it did when fat storage was critical for survival.
The process of fat storage
The scientific term for fats is triglycerides, which are modules consisting of three fatty acid chains attached to one glycerol module.
Fats enter the body in this structure as food, but are required to break up into their individual parts to pass through the body’s digestive wall. They then reform into triglycerides as they leave the digestive wall, before being broken up again by fat cells and muscle cells so that the fatty acids and the glycerol are able to enter the cell through the cell membrane.
So, how does fat get stored?
The main cells responsible for the storage of fat in its triglyceride form are referred to as fat cells, or adipocytes. It is white adipose cells that store fat for use as energy, while brown apidose cells are not relevant as an energy store, only being used for heat creation.
It’s worth bearing in mind that the body doesn’t only store fat directly food, as the liver makes further fats from proteins and carbohydrates. These additional fats are made to enable the easy storage of energy in fat cells, and help to explain why a low-fat diet won’t necessarily result in you losing weight.
What are the different types of fat?
Excessive consumption of certain foods can trigger the body to store fat, resulting in you gaining weight. Your levels of bad cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein (LPL), can particularly increase if you consume large amounts of saturated fats, as are found in animal products such as whole-milk dairy products, butter, cheese and fatty meats. Much the same can be said for the trans fats evident in fried food.
Meanwhile, unsaturated fats can actually help to decrease your LPL levels and boost your levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or good cholesterol. They can be found in fish, nuts, avocados, olive and canola oils.
However, it is important to remember that all fats have a high amount of calories and if consumed in excessive quantities, can contribute to the development of serious health issues such as high cholesterol, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer.
Could fat freezing be the treatment for you?
Now that you’ve learned the answer to the question “how is fat stored?”, you might be interested in learning how you can eliminate excess fat naturally and healthily.
Our fat-freezing treatment – also known as cryolipolysis – here at Nu You Aesthetics could be instrumental in the accomplishment of your weight-loss goals. Talk to our team today about how the freezing and damaging of your fat cells, which are then naturally flushed out of your body with the help of the liver, could assist you in both looking and feeling better about your figure this year.