For the past few months, I’ve read quite a few articles about brown fat or as some have referred to it, the “good fat”. I don’t know about you but when someone says the term “good fat” I immediately picture an avocado surrounded with macadamia nuts, but I digress.
Well, what is brown fat and why do you care?
Brown fat is one of two types of fat that are found in mammals. In infants, brown fat in the upper body plays a key role in helping them stay warm and protecting them from hypothermia once they enter the world. Unlike the other fat found in mammals, white fat, which expands as a result of consuming more calories, brown fat we are starting to learn can also help burn calories and contribute to weight loss in adults.
In a 2009 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that younger people tend to have more brown fat and those with more brown fat tended to be slim. And as we get older, we lose the fat burning good fat which is still unexplained by researchers. – So as we age how do we keep more brown fat so that we can hopefully retain more of our youthful figures?
According to a study published in Diabetes, lowering your thermostat a few degrees before bed can help increase brown fat and decrease your risk of certain metabolic diseases, such as diabetes. The testing, which took over four months concluded that those subjects sleeping in the 66-degree condition room experienced a number of metabolic advantages. After periods of sleeping in a colder environment, the amount of “brown fat” – or, good fat – of test subjects almost doubled.
In this study, researchers conducted an experiment comparing the blood sugar/insulin levels and caloric expenditures of test subjects sleeping at 75, and 66 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively.
Additionally, colder-sleepers also burned more calories throughout their day as stated in this New York Times article. So turn down the thermostat, get some bedding that helps you sleep a bit cooler and keep ahold of that youthful brown fat.
Yet another reason to sleep on “cooling bedding”, even during the winter.
Pretty interesting, right? What do you think?