What is fat?
Fat is the body’s natural way of storing excess energy. But this does not mean that it is bad.
It is a nutrient that accumulates in order to provide energy and meet the needs of our body. It also contains vitamins A, D, K and E and fatty acids.
In addition, it also serves as a hormone regulator, to protect some organs and as a thermal insulator.
Types of fats
Technically, fat is composed of triglycerides, which in turn are made up of fatty acids. Depending on the type of fatty acid, fat can have different effects on the body.
Saturated fats can also be called solid, because at room temperature they are solid.
This type of fat can be found in foods of animal origin, such as cheese, milk, meat and fish, although in the latter in smaller proportions.
They are also present in coconut and palm oil, which are often used in refrigerated beverages and smoothies.
Saturated fats directly influence cholesterol, so a healthy diet should include a low amount of saturated fats. Sweet foods such as cookies and cakes include large amounts of saturated fats.
Trans fats do not come from nature. They are artificially created through hydrogenation, a process that increases their shelf life at room temperature.
They are commonly used in processed foods, snacks, candies, dressings and buttered foods.
Unsaturated fats are found mainly in vegetable oils. They are liquid at room temperature.
There are two types of unsaturated fats:
- Monounsaturated fats: present in avocado, nuts, olive, peanut and canola oil. Monounsaturated fats help reduce cholesterol along with a good diet.
- Polyunsaturated fats: present in sunflower, sesame, soybean and corn oil, fish and seafood. It also helps to reduce cholesterol.
Fats and food
Fat consumption is essential for human beings. Experts recommend that, in order to achieve an adequate diet, fat consumption should not exceed 30% of total calories from food.
Our body’s energy consumption is 9 kcal/gram. For an average diet of 2000 kcal per day, calories from fat should approach 600 kcal, which is equivalent to 70 grams of fat.
When we consume more fat than the body is able to burn, it is deposited and accumulated. Localized fat is the most difficult to eliminate, even with diet or exercise, regardless of a person’s constitution. It works equally well for both slim and overweight people.
This is also influenced by genetics, hormonal factors, metabolism and lifestyle habits.
It is at this point that aesthetic medicine treatments are almost the only and last option to eliminate stubborn fat.
Type of body fat
The fat contained in our body can be brown or white, depending on its function:
- Brown grease: for heat production. It is considered a healthy fat and we use it especially when we are newborns. In adults, little brown fat remains.
- White fat: this is the majority of the fat in our body and increases as we grow, being stored in different areas.
Depending on where fat accumulates, it can be:
- Subcutaneous fat: is found under the skin and generally represents the highest percentage of fat in our body. The distribution of subcutaneous fat in the body depends mainly on your genetics and gender. It is easy to eliminate with diet and exercise.
- Visceral fat: is the most dangerous fat, more common in men than in women. It usually accumulates around the organs and can interfere with their function. It is very difficult to eliminate.
- Intramuscular fat: is in the muscles, but in much smaller quantities than the previous ones. With aging its presence increases, although it is only visible in cases of obesity.
Treatments to combat fat
In aesthetics, most of the existing products are designed to act, in one way or another, against localized fat in almost any part of the body.
In the case of men, fat tends to accumulate in the abdomen and lower back, while in women it is located in the thighs and buttocks.
There are more and more techniques aimed at fighting fat, but many of them do not act directly on the fat. We must bear in mind that some of the techniques mentioned below can achieve great results if combined with others.
Currently, ultrasound cavitation and body hifu, and somewhat less radiofrequency, are the main techniques to act against fat.
Other techniques, such as carboxytherapy, injected mesotherapy and electroporation can be used as a lipolytic, while vacumotherapy and pressotherapy produce decongestion of fluid retention and thus reduce volume.
Commitment to quality
This text on fat has been prepared by professional editors and reviewed by Sisneo’s medical-aesthetic team. In addition, we have relied on experts in medicine, engineering and aesthetics as a source of information, as well as specific studies to maintain the quality of what we publish.
At Sisneo Bioscience we are committed to publish truthful and contrasted information. And to update or correct it as soon as new knowledge becomes available.
Among others, we have used the following references:
- Glass GE, Ferretti P. «Adipose-Derived Stem Cells in Aesthetic Surgery» en Aesthet Surg J. 2019 Mar 14;39(4):423-438. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjy160. PMID: 29982396.