Some fat is phat

By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - You don't think of fat on our bodies as good, but doctors say there is a better kind called "brown fat" - that's compared to the bad kind, white fat, which is mainly carried around the middle.

"The fat you have more here actually you see, it looks like lard, I mean, it's white [and] fluffy," said Dr. Meg Reitmeyer motioning towards the fat samples. "It looks like Crisco."

Reitmeyer at Trinity Clinic Endocrinology said it is all about distribution. Women may not like the fat that tends to build around the hips and so-called "saddle bags", but doctors say it is healthier than having a big waistline which is usually a problem for men, who tend to be apple-shaped.

"You know, we think of guys [as] being more of the potbelly and that's where you see the health risk," explained the doctor. "The higher your waist circumference the more likely you are to have heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure because that's all the blood pressure. Whereas women, at least until menopause, carry more of their fat on the hips and less on the waist line."

Doctors say babies are born with more good fat. Brown fat helps spur the body to burn calories  keeping babies warm. Dr. Reitmeyer said unfortunately, it's based on genetics, so there's no magic pill we can take to create more brown fat.

"Unfortunately, there's a lot of shisters out there who are trying to do fad diets, fad pills and promises, but there's no way we have right now or will have for long time to make your body have more good fat, other than what we have now," said Reitmeyer.

She said exercising is key but encourages clients not to even get on that scale. Instead, work harder on minimizing your waist line, targeting that bad fat.

Dr. Reitmeyer also said to eat plant-based fats over animal-based fats, cut down on sodas, eat whole wheat when you can and eat smaller portion sizes.

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